The management of the public-service broadcaster RTVS has to change, said Slovak Prime Minister, Robert Fico. He expects a new election to take place in June.
The current head of the broadcaster, Václav Mika, lost the support of the coalition Slovak National Party (SNS) long ago. Now Fico is openly criticising it, the Sme daily reported.
“Slovak Television is no longer a public-service,” Fico said during the discussion organised by the Hospodárske Noviny daily, adding that the current management has failed to fulfil this task. “I consider the news service of the RTVS opposition-oriented. There should be a change at its helm.”
The fact is however, that last year the broadcaster achieved the best audience share in the past twelve months and it also had one of the most unbiased news coverages, Sme reported.
The prime minister also accused the media of publishing only critical information about the government and avoiding the positive news. He is convinced the media environment is distorted.
“I’m sorry but it pisses me off how you report the affairs of this state and what kind of image is created; it is impossible, even unacceptable,” Fico said.
He has already had very tense relations with some private media outlets and in the past he has even refused to answer their questions, Sme wrote.
Fico also commented on Slovak President Andrej Kiska, saying he respects the president and tries to avoid conflicts. He however feels sorry that the president criticises both the prime minister and his government.
“We should set the same media meter for everybody,” Fico said.
Slovakia should stay in the core of the EU
When commenting on the first year of his government, he claimed that he respects the nominations to the ministerial posts from his coalition partners. As for Smer ministers, he considers them part of the professional team. If he has a reason to exchange any of them, he will not hesitate, Fico claimed.
At the same time, he considers the ruling coalition stable, though it took some time for them to get accustomed to one another, as reported by Sme.
Fico also stressed that he wants a stable government as currently nobody can predict what will happen in Europe. Slovakia should be able to respond to any situation that occurs. He also expressed concern about a situation where a person who considers himself the leader of opposition can call for leaving the EU.
“We have to be part of Europe, we have to be part of its core, this is the line of the government,” Fico said, as quoted by Sme, adding, it is nonsense to step back, especially after adopting the euro and becoming part of the Schengen zone.
Fico also reiterated that Slovakia refuses the refugee quotas.
4. Apr 2017 at 23:04 | Compiled by Spectator staff