Government Manifesto published

Government Manifesto published
The government’s manifesto will be discussed in Parliament later this week.  The phrase “a sovereign Slovak national policy” is used repeatedly.
The new government favours a strong social and rule-of-law oriented state based on the principles of a well-functioning and, to a necessary extent, regulated market economy.
The cabinet says it wants to make Slovakia a modern and effective state that will place emphasis on social security, a good competitive business environment, improving the quality of education and health care, and strengthening public confidence in justice and the rule of law.
The coalition writes that it wants to stop abuse of the security forces for political purposes. It wants to bring calm to a polarised society, pay attention to national self-esteem, strengthen Slovakia's sovereignty, statehood and healthy patriotism, and boost respect for state symbols and cultural traditions.
But there will be no money left over to increase defence spending, the manifesto warned.
There were initial comments from some ministers.
The Deputy Prime Minister for the Recovery Plan Peter Kmec noted that the document doesn't contain any "surprises".
The Labour Minister Erik Tomas said there would be a "parental card" offering discounts on goods and services, and he said the manifesto calls for a minimum wage at 60 percent of the average salary in the country.
Justice Minister Boris Susko didn't say whether the document points towards scrapping the Special Prosecutor's Office. "This is a premature question, the matter will be discussed with the expert public," he said.
A draft version of the programme criticized the special prosecutor Daniel Lipšic, who is responsible for corruption investigations. It says Lipšic has “openly disobeyed” his boss, the general prosecutor's office. The draft says: “In every sensibly managed institution, such a heated and moreover public personnel conflict threatening subordination must be ended by the departure of one of the parties to the dispute."
Peter Pellegrini, chairman of the second largest coalition party, said in a TV interview on Sunday that in his view, Lipšic cannot remain until the end of his term, in 2028. He added that Lipšic should never have been appointed.
The coalition wants to split the national broadcaster, RTVS, into two separate units – one for television, one for radio. The motive is to “increase the independence and objectivity of the public media.”  Opponents think it is an opportunity to appoint new directors.
The coalition also wants to find ways to fund higher pay for teachers.
Bickercaarten Michiel, Photo: TASR

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