Monday

16th Jul 2018

Threat to collapse Fico coalition after journalist killing

  • Slovak citizens have been outraged over the murder of an investigative journalist and his fiancee (Photo: Peter Tkac)

The Most-Hid party in Slovakia has threatened on Monday (12 March) to withdraw its support from the coalition government, if the country does not hold early elections.

The call for early elections comes after continued protests over the killing of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his partner Martina Kusnirova on 25 February. Kuciak was investigating mafia and political links to EU subsidy fraud at the time of his death.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... our join as a group

  • Slovak interior minister Robert Kalinak resigned on Monday: 'I want stability in Slovakia to be maintained' (Photo: Council of the European Union)

"We think that only early elections would solve this situation," said Bela Bugar, chairman of Most-Hid on Monday evening after an eight-hour internal party discussion.

"If talks about early elections fail, Most-Hid will exit the ruling coalition," he added.

Since the 2016 parliamentary elections, centre-left Slovak prime minister Robert Fico has relied on the support of the smaller centre-right Most-Hid party, and the right-wing nationalist Slovak National Party (SNS).

The Most-Hid pressure came despite the resignation earlier on Monday by interior minister Robert Kalinak.

"I feel particularly sensitive to the movements on the social and political scene and to the opinions of my opposition colleagues. I want stability in Slovakia to be maintained and resign as minister," said Kalinak, who was also deputy prime minister.

Kalinak was one of the founding members of Fico's Smer-SD party, and held the post of interior minister during ten of the last twelve years.

His resignation came after outraged Slovak citizens continue to take to the streets in protest at the cold-blooded killing and perceived corruption within government. Fico had previously offered a €1m reward to find the journalist's killers.

The junior nationalist coalition party SNS said on Monday that it could accept either early elections or a cabinet reshuffle.

"We are not clinging to this government," SNS leader Andrej Danko said.

Before Most-Hid announced its demand, Fico still seemed intent on continuing the coalition government.

"It's up to us to decide whether we will succumb to pessimism or whether we will further work on this story together," he was quoted as saying.

Slovak PM at risk over journalist murder

A junior party in prime minister Robert Fico's coalition has threatened to walk away unless he takes more drastic action over the killing of a reporter.

Journalist murder shocks Slovakia

The reporter's research on alleged Italian mafia links with EU farm funds in Slovakia has been hinted at as a possible motive for his murder.

Interview

'Hungary is test case for state capture'

Friends of prime minister Viktor Orban have "grasped power and occupied all state institutions," says the country's first EU commissioner - but he hopes new 'conditionality' clauses in the next EU budget could help reduce misuse of public money.

Feature

Babis - 'pro-EU' leader of sceptic Czech Republic

For Andrej Babis, a businessman turned politician, EU membership is a matter of conviction as much as of economic opportunities, in a country still looking for a purpose.

News in Brief

  1. VW owners to get diesel software update free until 2020
  2. Airbnb breaches EU consumer rules, Commission says
  3. EU sees no China free-trade talks
  4. Italy accepts migrant boat after help promises
  5. EU opens case on Siemens' Alstom buyout
  6. Trump: May found my Brexit advice 'too brutal'
  7. Italy will reject EU-Canada trade deal, says deputy PM
  8. Commission: Juncker suffered from sciatica attack at Nato

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  2. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  4. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  6. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  8. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma
  9. PKEE - Polish Energy AssociationCommon-Sense Approach Needed for EU Energy Reform
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to Lead in Developing and Rolling Out 5G Network
  11. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Economic and Trade Relations Enjoy a Bright Future
  12. ACCAEmpowering Businesses to Engage with Sustainable Finance and the SDGs

Latest News

  1. EU and China agree on words, not yet on action
  2. EU is 'foe', as Trump seeks to make friends with Putin
  3. Let's not be 'naive' with Chinese partner, says senior MEP
  4. Trump, trade, and Brexit in EU headlines This WEEK
  5. EU and China edge closer in Trump's 'America First' world
  6. How the World Cup exposed Russian chauvinism
  7. Stage set for Trump-Putin finale
  8. Trump scuppers trade deal with UK under May's Brexit

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us