President: Slovakia needs to fight corruption virus and hoax epidemic now

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President: Slovakia needs to fight corruption virus and hoax epidemic now

05. 06. 2020 14:46

The most frequently used words in the first speech reporting on the state of the Slovak Republic pronounced by the president Zuzana Čaputová were "virus" and "pandemic". However, she did not mention them only in connection with coronavirus. The president also spoke about the sick economy, the hoax epidemic and pointed to a corruption virus that emerged from the Threema application, which revealed secret communication between the controversial businessman Marián Kočner and several Slovak politicians and judges.

On the other hand, Čaputová appreciated how responsibly ordinary people had approached government regulations connected to the COVID-19 pandemic. She highlighted the activities of non-governmental and civic initiatives and pointed out that the crisis had brought society together. She, however, underlined that the will to preserve solidarity and mutual support should remain even after the crisis is over. "Nevertheless, I regret to say, the opposite tendency is visible in society," said the president, pointing to people who have called for changes regarding some cultural and ethical issues.

The president also pointed out that the Slovak economy is too oriented towards one area, and the economic model based on low salaries and attracting foreign direct investment has already been exhausted. According to her, the fact that Slovakia is an assembly shop for global carmakers should be viewed as a transitional period that has had its pros, but there is a need to move away from this by supporting the domestic business environment.

Moreover, she appealed to the government to pay more attention to topics such as healthcare, seniors, social services facilities and the environment.

In reaction to the speech, prime minister Igor Matovič described the report as dignified and fair. "The speech was balanced and fair towards Slovakia and towards the people," he said. The chairman of the opposition party Smer-SD, Robert Fico, said that he was not surprised by the president's report. However, he reproached her "many inaccurate numbers" in connection to the European funds. Smer-SD vice-chair Richard Raši said that the speech was well balanced.

The first report on the state of the Slovak Republic pronounced by the presided Zuzana Čaputová was 3600 words long and the president concluded it by saying that Slovakia faces not only the pandemic induced crisis and its economic consequences but also a crisis related to the trust in democracy and a global climate crisis.

Romana Grajcarová, Foto: TASR

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