President appointed the cabinet of Eduard Heger, called for empathy

The labour minister has yet to be appointed, Sme Rodina is reconsidering the nomination.

President Zuzana Čaputová appointed Eduard Heger the new prime minister on April 1.President Zuzana Čaputová appointed Eduard Heger the new prime minister on April 1. (Source: TASR)

President Zuzana Čaputová appointed Eduard Heger (OĽaNO) the new prime minister.

She also appointed the new cabinet ministers, except for the labour minister.

Čaputová said that the agreement of the four coalition parties on the new cabinet is only “the beginning of the journey.”

“The real goal will be achieved if this government continues to help the country and its inhabitants,” she said in her speech.

Čaputová hopes the new prime minister will present a new approach and new energy. She also believes that the cabinet will present a new programme statement to the parliament that will reflect the current challenges created by the Covid crisis, and also the possibilities that may arise thanks to the EU recovery plan.

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“An important feature of the new cabinet will be empathy, while a key word to accompany it will be recovery,” the president said.

Heger expressed his hope of the ruling coalition to cooperate, and said that the new government will continue in its efforts to purify and restore the country.

“We have a lot before us, let’s get to work,” he added.

No labour minister yet

The Labour Ministry will be temporarily led by Transport Minister Andrej Doležal (Sme Rodina). His party is expected to introduce a new candidate later.

Sme Rodina originally nominated MP Jozef Hlinka, but after a mutual meeting on March 31, Čaputová announced through her spokesperson that he will not be appointed, and that the party will reconsider its nomination.

She did not give any detailed explanation.

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Hlinka made it to the parliament in 2020. Back in 1997, he served as an advisor to then interior minister Gustáv Krajči for five months, the Sme daily reported.

Hlinka worked for Krajči, considered a close collaborator of then PM and HDZS chair Vladimír Mečiar, at the time it was already known that the Slovak Information Service (SIS) intelligence agency abducted the son of then president Michal Kováč to Austria. The police marred the investigation.

Krajči himself has been accused of marring the referendum from May 1997, Sme wrote.

Later, Hlinka worked at the Interior Ministry when Vladimír Palko (KDH) was at the helm, as the deputy head of the minister’s office. He remained at the ministry until 2011, meaning he was working there when both Robert Kaliňák (Smer) and Daniel Lipšic (then KDH) were ministers.

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