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UPDATED: 5. MARCH 2018, AT 20:58

Fico steers conversation to Soros, saying he will deal with politics later

Kiska responds by calling on PM Fico not to ignore the disintegration of his cabinet.

(Source: TASR)

President Andrej Kiska should explain to the public why he visited the private house of George Soros in New York last September, Prime Minister Robert Fico stated during his delayed briefing on March 5.

Fico began by stating he was sorry to see the country moving away from the discussion around who committed the murder to what he called “irrelevant things” and announced he would deal with the politics of the case soon but not right now. Immediately afterwards, however, he unleashed an attack on President Andrej Kiska who, a day earlier, called on him to either make significant changes to his cabinet or initiate early elections.

Fico accused Kiska of joining forces with the opposition and said he regretted Kiska's words from the day before when he said that the motive for the murder is irrelevant.

Read also:Robert Fico enters the ranks of the conspiracy theorists

Fico hinted that he suspects Kiska of being involved in attempts to destabilise the state and mentioned the name of billionaire George Soros.

Soros is a favourite among fake news writers, but most of the claims linked to his name are pure hoaxes, including, for instance, an article claiming that Soros may force the British government to back off from Brexit.

Fico’s coalition partner Most-Hid, in their reaction to Fico’s attack on Kiska, branded his words “incomprehensible and unacceptable”.

“The prime minister has embarked on a perilous road, possibly with no return,” Most-Híd wrote in their official statement, calling on Fico not to continue his rhetoric in order “not to make further talks about government restructuring impossible”.

Read also:Murder of journalist: A short guide to the current political situation in Slovakia

Kiska: Conspiracies do not release Fico from his duty to solve the crisis

Political analyst Pavol Baboš told the Sme daily that by mentioning Soros, Fico has joined the ranks of politicians like Viktor Orbán in Hungary.

“This rhetoric brings him closer to many disinformation websites that, paradoxically, the state and European authorities are fighting against,” Baboš told Sme.

Kiska didn't keep his meeting with Soros secret. He announced it on Facebook in September 2017 along with the explanation that they were discussing the Roma issue. Kiska responded to Fico’s accusations by saying that Fico is ignoring the fact that his cabinet is falling apart.

“His former close friend, Marek Maďarič, delivered his resignation to the president and his two coalition partners [SNS and Most-Híd] are pondering what comes next,” was the stance adopted by Kiska which his spokesperson, Roman Krpelan, provided to the SITA newswire. “Deflecting attention with conspiracy theories does not release the prime minister from his duty to solve the deep political crisis or to make space for somebody else who can.”

Maďarič: Changes must be made

Outgoing Culture Minister Marek Maďarič (Smer) handed his resignation letter to the head of state on Monday, March 5. Until a new culture minister is appointed, Peter Pellegrini (Smer) will be entrusted with the temporary management of the Culture Ministry.

Regarding Kiska’s two scenarios to resolve the current political situation following the murders of the journalist and his fiancée, Maďarič said that the government must face some reorganisation.

“It’s clear that some changes in the government must be made,” said Maďarič. “This view doesn’t result from the president’s opinion but from the fact that the coalition parties are also promoting specific changes.”

In reference to the non-resignation of Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák (Smer) he said that “perhaps, if a change had occurred last week, the situation would be calmer.”

As previously announced, President Kiska will start talks with representatives of the political parties on Wednesday, March 7th.

The president’s office, immediately after the Fico’s speech on Monday, March 5, recalled that Kiska’s meeting with Soros was not concealed and that they informed the public about it on Facebook.

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