Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Fico: Slovakia not to increase defence budget

Prime Minister Robert Fico said at the GLOBSEC conference that Slovakia will not increase funds for the defence, even though as NATO member, Slovakia has taken the obligation to do so. According to him, Slovakia does not see a room to raise the budget in the following few years.

Prime Minister Robert Fico said at the GLOBSEC conference that Slovakia will not increase funds for the defence, even though as NATO member, Slovakia has taken the obligation to do so. According to him, Slovakia does not see a room to raise the budget in the following few years.

However, during his meeting with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Fico slightly changed his words and said that the country will allocate more money for the modernisation of the army.

“During the past two years we have been passing unbelievable consolidation measures,” Fico said, as quoted by the SITA newswire, during the May 15 debate between premiers of the Visegrad Group (V4) countries. “I cannot imagine that in the following years there would be source to increase the budget for army.”

Slovakia currently allocates about 1 percent of GDP for the army, though it promised to NATO to contribute 2 percent.

Fico has surprised several analysts. The current situation shows that it is necessary to invest into defence, said Tomasz Szatkowski from the Warsaw-based National Centre for Strategic Studies Foundation, as reported by the Sme daily. According to him, neither Czech PM Bohuslav Sobotka nor Hungarian PM Viktor Orban plan to increase the funds for defence, but they did not openly excluded it at the conference.

During the meeting with Rasmussen, who stressed the need of investing more into the defence, Fico said that Slovakia wants to fulfil its promises. Though he reiterated his claim about tough consolidation measures and sensitivity of the issue of increasing funds for the army, he said that the country will allocate more money for the modernisation.

“While in this term only about 8-9 percent was allocated for modernisation from the budget, the defence minister says that next year it will be 18-19 percent from the existing budget,” Fico said, as quoted by SITA.

Fico also said during the discussion with his V4 partners that he is sceptical over stricter sanctions against Russia. According to him, such sanctions would harm our economy.

Source: Sme, SITA

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

Top stories

Emergency declared in Prešov after Sunday storm Video

A powerful storm swept through the city on July 23.

Strong storm hit prešov on July 23.

Slovak water slalom racers won seven medals

Young Slovak talents made the hearts of sports fans race with their performance at the World Championship in water slalom.

Marko Mirgorodský

Austrian Ambassador: The normalisation of our relations has grown

Most people want the EU to exist in the future – we just have to mobilise this majority and not take things for granted, says Austrian Ambassador to Slovakia Helfried Carl in an interview with The Slovak Spectator.

Austrian Ambassador Helfried Carl

Fico for better fish fingers

It’s true that in the past four months, Mr Fico has been comparatively less busy than his Visegrad Group partners.

Austrian fish fingers angered PM Fico.