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Fico warns of job losses if Russia retaliates

IF RUSSIA were to respond to the third round of the European Union’s sanctions by banning car imports from Europe, 7,000-10,000 people could lose their jobs in Slovakia, Prime Minister Robert Fico said on political talk show O 5 Minút 12 broadcast by the public-service broadcaster Radio and Television of Slovakia (RTVS) on September 14.

IF RUSSIA were to respond to the third round of the European Union’s sanctions by banning car imports from Europe, 7,000-10,000 people could lose their jobs in Slovakia, Prime Minister Robert Fico said on political talk show O 5 Minút 12 broadcast by the public-service broadcaster Radio and Television of Slovakia (RTVS) on September 14.

Fico said that the “sanctions war” not only fails to address the problem, but it also produces more and more tension on both sides of the conflict. He went on to commit himself to doing his utmost to safeguard Slovakia’s citizens from being affected by what he called “the geopolitical war”.

“There are companies that are already in trouble due to this crisis,” Fico said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “If Russia does adopt retaliatory measures as far as the automotive industry is concerned, then 7,000 to 10,000 people may lose their jobs [in Slovakia]. And why is that? Because they are fighting over influence in Ukraine, be it Russia, the United States or the West.”

Chair of the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) Ján Figeľ called Fico’s stance on the issue “going back to the 1990s”, while saying that it would be a legitimate move if the government decided to provide compensation to companies that have been hit hard by the sanctions, as reported by TASR.

Figeľ went on to say that while Slovakia’s political interests should also consider the country’s economic and trade needs, corporate interests must not be prioritised over the interests of the state or the entire society, TASR wrote.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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