UPDATED AUG 14, 18:40

Coalition council meeting postponed, allegedly due to PM’s health

Prime Minister Robert Fico, who one day earlier held a public talk, cited health issues as the reason for skipping the planned August 11 coalition council meeting.

Leaders of the three coalition parties: Robert Fico, Andrej Danko, Béla Bugár (l-r).(Source: SITA)

The coalition council was set to deal with the crisis in the ruling coalition caused by the termination of the coalition agreement by one of the parties, the Slovak National Party-SNS and its chairman Andrej Danko. This was while also withdrawing from the coalition agreement, the Sme daily wrote one day later.

Ultimately, the coalition did not meet, as Prime Minister Robert Fico was allegedly ill with fever.

The leaders of the ruling coalition parties will meet on August 15 at 17:00 19:00, the SITA newswire wrote.

One day before the scrapped coalition council talks, however, Fico seemed fit and held a public speech, alongside Defence Minister Peter Gajdoš (SNS nominee) on European solutions for purchasing military equipment, according to Sme.

Coalition agrement to be changed, addendum supplemented

SNS first vice-chairman Jaroslav Paška wished Fico a fast recovery “so that he’ll be in good enough shape to carry on”, as cited by TASR newswire. He also added that the parties have until September 1 to discuss an addendum to the coalition agreement. “We’ll wait,” he said. The addendum is intended to amend the coalition’s inner workings, he explained, adding that SNS holds firm to its demands.

Read also:SNS leader Danko unexpectedly withdraws from coalition agreement

SNS is facing a backlash over the controversial allocations of EU-funds towards research by the Education Ministry, headed by its nominee Peter Plavčan. The party has said that the coalition’s predicament stems from Smer’s failure to abide by the coalition agreement, however. To add insult to injury, SNS believes that Smer has co-opted the opposition OĽaNO-NOVA party and that the two are working in close liaison in an effort to blacken SNS. Fico’s advisor Erik Tomáš, singled out by SNS as responsible for efforts to harm the party, has shaken off the allegations, calling them “absurd”, according to TASR.

Coalition parties' heads have health problems

Also the chairman of another coalition party, Béla Bugár, seems to have a health issue – he is suffering from inter-vertebral disc pain. Danko has been caught visiting a medical facility, too: he has pain in his arm, for which he gets radiation treatment, the Plus Jeden Deň daily wrote on August 12.

Read also:5 things you need to know about the coalition crisis

Political analyst Tomáš Koziak opined, as quoted by the Nový Čas daily, that Danko’s ego and ambitions are bigger than his real political power and abilities, and it may break him in the end. “He joined a high-risk game he doesn’t have cards good enough to play,” Koziak says, “and he is bluffing ill-advisedly.” Nový Čas also wrote that ultimately, Danko may be forced to sacrifice

Minister Plavčan, involved in the recent scandal.

Unofficial talks may take place in the coalition until the next meeting.

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