Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO’s secretary-general, has thanked Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico for his country’s presence in Afghanistan as part of the ISAF peacemaking mission there. During a meeting between the two held in Brussels on April 24, Fico reassured his international partners that Slovakia would continue to fulfil its commitments towards NATO and that it would remain part of the operation as long as necessary.
“Afghanistan is one of our priorities when it comes to official development aid,” said Fico, as quoted by TASR.
Fico also reassured his partners in Brussels that his second government would be different from his first, hinting in particular that the absence of his former coalition partners, the Slovak National Party (SNS) and the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), would mean the new government is less nationalistic. It will also be more open to bailing out indebted countries, the Sme daily reported.
“In Brussels they remember the first Fico government, particularly the coalition with nationalist party [SNS, which] was criticised in the European Parliament,” Margaretha Kopeing, a journalist for the Austrian daily Der Kurier, told Sme. “Meanwhile the image of Fico in Brussels has changed; they [EU officials] appreciate this change and consider him to be an important European partner.”
Fico also promised to fulfil Slovakia’s promise to decrease its state deficit below 3 percent of GDP by 2013.
Sources: TASR, Sme
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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