The Pellegrini cabinet
Prime Minister: Peter Pellegrini (Smer)
Deputy PM for investments: Richard Raši (Smer)
Foreign Affairs: Miroslav Lajčák (Smer)
Labour, Social Affairs and Family: Ján Richter (Smer)
Economy: Peter Žiga (Smer)
Finance: Peter Kažimír (Smer)
Health: Andrea Kalavská (Smer nominee)
Interior: Tomáš Drucker (Smer nominee)
Culture: Ľubica Laššáková (Smer)
Justice: Gábor Gál (Most-Híd)
Environment: László Solymos (Most-Híd)
Transport: Arpád Érsek (Most-Híd)
Agriculture: Gabriela Matečná (SNS nominee)
Defence: Peter Gajdoš (SNS)
Education: Martina Lubyová (SNS nominee)
President Andrej Kiska officially appointed the new government of Peter Pellegrini (Smer) on March 22. He did so despite having some reservations towards some cabinet members.
Kiska stressed in his speech that as the head of state he will not allow the ministers in the new cabinet to forget about their task to win back the trust of the public. They can rely on his support for all the measures adopted for this purpose.
At the same time, he congratulated the new government and wished them enough energy and determination in serving the public. It will be an especially hard task in the current tense atmosphere, the president said, as reported by the website of the Sme daily.
President recalls the murders
The president recalled that a month has passed since investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée were murdered in their house in Veľká Mača (Trnava Region), during which much has been said about the state of our society, the trust in institutions whose task is to secure justice, and the foundations on which our state stands.
“Too many words were probably said, but not much has been done to calm the situation,” Kiska said, as quoted by Sme.sk.
The response to the current situation cannot be screaming, arrogance and ignorance of suspicions that there are links between organised crime and top politicians, he added.
The president also praised the agreement with the new interior minister, Tomáš Drucker, on replacing the current police leaders, Sme.sk wrote.
Who is in the new cabinet?
The appointment of the new cabinet is one of the significant steps towards restoring the stability. Kiska stressed in his speech that acts like murdering the journalist and his fiancée cannot happen in Slovakia. His government has condemned such actions and considers them an attack on freedom of speech.
He promised to do everything to investigate the double murder and punish the perpetrators.
“We will do everything to make Slovakia a successful country, a good place for living and a country we can be proud of,” Pellegrini said, as quoted by the TASR newswire.
Compared with the previous government, there are several changes: since Pellegrini left the post of deputy prime minister for investments and informatisation, this went to outgoing Košice Mayor Richard Raši (Smer). Ľubica Laššáková (Smer) has become the new culture minister, while Gábor Gál (Most-Híd) is filling the post at the Justice Ministry.
The most debated post of the interior minister was given to Tomáš Drucker, who was replaced at his post of health minister by former state secretary of the Health Ministry, Andrea Kalavská.
The remainder are unchanged compared with the third Robert Fico government.
Parliament may vote on the new government this Friday
Following the appointment, the new government is expected to meet at its first session, where the ministers will adopt their programme statement. Pellegrini said it will be based on the previous programme statement, with a focus on developing the economy and social area as well as responsible budgeting. He also stressed the pro-European orientation of Slovakia.
The Denník N daily pointed out that the programme statement contains several non-current aims. This means that the new cabinet wants to fulfil the tasks that have already passed. This includes the successful and secure course of Slovakia’s Presidency of the EU Council in the second half of 2016, the re-assessment of the decision to scrap IC trains between Bratislava and Košice even though they were restored in December 2016, the preparation of the national programme concerning education until the end of 2016, approval of the action plans for the least developed regions in 2016, and fully launch eHealth in 2017 (actually, it was launched in 2018, but not all doctors are using it).
Pellegrini responded to the fact that the programme statement will contain the old goals by saying that “this cabinet needs to start working immediately and it does not have time to deal with itself or re-write some documents”, as quoted by Denník N.
After adopting the programme statement, the government will ask the parliament to summon the session at which it will introduce the programme and ask for support.
The parliamentary session will probably be summoned on March 23, parliament’s spokesperson Tomáš Kostelník told TASR.
22. Mar 2018 at 13:50 | Compiled by Spectator staff