Welcoming of Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico at a government meeting for first time after an assassination attempt. EPA-EFE/LUBOS BILACIC


Slovak PM Fico’s party likely to remain out of EU parliament alliances


Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said on July 11 that his ruling party SMER-SSD would stay out of the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group in the European Union parliament and indicated it likely would not attach itself to other alliances.

The S&D had suspended SMER and Slovakia’s junior ruling party HLAS last October after the parties struck a deal with a right-wing party to form a government.

Fico, in a video message on the party’s YouTube page, said his party disagreed with many of the S&D bloc’s views.

He said he had written to Social Democrat leaders that a condition for SMER’s re-inclusion in the alliance was being able to maintain sovereign positions in areas such as the Ukraine war, migration and other issues.

“If we have to go somewhere and repeat like parrots what others want and which is in stark contrast with Slovak national-state interests, then I say in advance that we thank you but our MEPs would rather stay unattached,” Fico said.

Fico has been recovering after being shot four times at close range by an attacker in mid-May, which left him needing hours of surgery. He appeared in public for the first time last week, speaking at a state ceremony, and has been attending government meetings this week.

His government halted state military aid to Ukraine after it took power last year, and Fico, like Hungarian leader Viktor Orban, has pushed for quick peace talks.

Fico, in his video message, added that “SMER cannot enter into European political structures that have nothing to do with social democracy.”

His comments indicated SMER would not join the third-largest EU parliamentary alliance, Patriots for Europe, forged by Orban.

The new Patriots alliance announced this week that Marine Le Pen’s National Rally (RN) party of France would lead the alliance, which also includes Freedom Party of Austria and ANO party of former Czech prime minister Andrej Babis.