Smer to consider abolishing eight regions

THE RULING Smer party is toying with the idea of abolishing the current administrative division of Slovakia. Instead of the current eight self-governing regions, Smer politicians are contemplating returning to the old model of four regions: western Slovakia, central Slovakia, eastern Slovakia and Bratislava, the Sme daily reported on November 11.

THE RULING Smer party is toying with the idea of abolishing the current administrative division of Slovakia. Instead of the current eight self-governing regions, Smer politicians are contemplating returning to the old model of four regions: western Slovakia, central Slovakia, eastern Slovakia and Bratislava, the Sme daily reported on November 11.

The second round of the elections of regional presidents will take place on November 23 and after that it will be clear how many regions will be headed by Smer candidates. Smer is expected to end up with seven regional governors (all except Bratislava). Following the elections, Smer plans to start discussion about the change of the administrative division.

Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák claims he wants the discussion on the change to be based on audits in self-governing regions, Sme wrote.

Some opposition parties might be inclined to support the idea too.

“Four regions are definitely better than eight,” Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) head Richard Sulík told Sme, adding that the best thing would be to scrap the regions altogether.

On the other hand, Most-Híd leader Béla Bugár sees it as a step towards centralisation and a return to the communist-era model, Sme reported. Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) deputy head Martin Fedor opined that such an initiative does not deal with the main problems of the regions, adding that he would rather focus on the high costs of running the regions and the fact that people have not yet embraced the concept of the self-governing regions.

Source: Sme

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports
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