LAST WEEK IN SLOVAKIA

Heger will seem boring after Matovič. Thank heavens for that

The new prime minister could give Slovakia exactly what it needs right now.

President Zuzana Čaputová appoints the cabinet of Eduard Heger. President Zuzana Čaputová appoints the cabinet of Eduard Heger. (Source: TASR)

It took Igor Matovič one month to understand that his departure from the top government post was the only way out of the coalition stalemate if he and his governing partners were to avoid an early election. Once Matovič stepped down, things moved fairly quickly, with coalition leaders and President Zuzana Čaputová apparently aware that they needed to restore at least some level of certainty before the Easter holidays. Less than 96 hours passed between Matovič’s self-declared “statesmanlike gesture” and the appointment of the Heger cabinet.

Unlike typical resignation ceremonies, Čaputová left Matovič’s without giving a customary speech. On the other hand, Matovič did not spare everyone else his usual theatrics – his “all will be well” slogan, proclaimed (while maskless) at the subsequent press briefing; and his solo hand-on-heart gesture for the family photo of the Heger cabinet, in which he will serve as finance minister.

After his chaotic first year, the former prime minister’s nomination to lead the powerful department in charge of the public finances raised many eyebrows, but his partners say it was necessary if the coalition deal on the new cabinet were not to collapse. President Čaputová confirmed as much in her interview for the Sme daily, saying that it was a political nomination and part of the political reality.

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