A former top reformist and finance minister in Slovakia, Ivan Mikloš, will cooperate also with the next government of new Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman. He will preside over a reform-support group after he had served as an advisor to former Ukrainian finance minister Natalia Jaresko and former minister for economic development Aivaras Abromavicius. Mikloš was originally offered the post of finance minister on the condition that he would accept Ukrainian citizenship. Mikloš declined the offer, however, as he would have been stripped of his Slovak citizenship under the Slovak legislation had he accepted the citizenship of another state.
Ukraine’s joining of the EU would mean an enormous development boost for eastern Slovakia as well, believes Mikloš.
“It would likely be the greatest possible stimulus for development,” Mikloš said at the Ukraine panel of the GLOBSEC 2016 international security forum in Bratislava on April 16 as cited by the TASR newswire. “That’s not just a theory. This was shown via the experiences of western European countries that shared borders with new members, such as the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland, when they were joining the EU.”
Slovakia could help Ukraine by extending support to it during various international talks and in European institutions.
“The previous official government approach (of Robert Fico’s 2012-16 cabinet) was controversial,” said Mikloš. “On one hand, we helped them with, for instance, the reverse gas flow. On the other hand, some statements of Prime Minister Fico were almost anti-Ukrainian, a fact to which the Ukrainian ambassador responded very openly at the time.”
Ivan Mikloš served as finance minister 2002-2006 and 2010-2012 and is viewed as the face of the economic transformation that allowed Slovakia to enter the OECD, the EU, and later the eurozone. His name is connected for instance with the introduction of the 19-percent flat tax rate, which was part of his extensive tax reform that is considered to have turned Slovakia into the “Tatra tiger”, as the country was labeled under the second government of Mikuláš Dzurinda in 2002-2006.
19. Apr 2016 at 6:30 | Compiled by Spectator staff