Matovič wants economy minister to step down before Christmas

This is a time for deeds, not tears, Richard Sulík reacted, expressing no intention to oblige. The recent fight is over rapid tests.

Economy Minister Richard Sulík (l) was charged by PM Igor Matovič (r) to purchase millions of antigen tests.Economy Minister Richard Sulík (l) was charged by PM Igor Matovič (r) to purchase millions of antigen tests. (Source: TASR)

As Slovakia prepares to close for the Christmas lockdown, which is still softer than epidemiologists and the health minister have recommended, PM Igor Matovič has called on his deputy PM and Economy Minister Richard Sulík to step down.

"It is obviously a reason for resignation and I would be very glad if he handed it in before Christmas," Matovič said on Thursday afternoon on the Radio Express daily political talk show.

Matovič (OĽaNO) and Sulík (SaS) have been in conflict for a long time, especially over the government's plans to contain the pandemic. Most recently, the prime minister criticised the economy minister for what he called his inability to procure enough antigen tests for Slovakia. Matovič had earlier called the lockdown "not my solution" and did not hide that he would have preferred several rounds of mass testing using rapid antigen tests throughout the country.

"I do not take the statements of Igor Matovič personally, because I understand the extremely complicated situation and the unique responsibility that he faces," Sulík wrote in his first reaction on Facebook.

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