Danko and Pellegrini Agree on Workings of Coalition, Deny Tension

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Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini and SNS leader Andrej Danko (Photo by TASR)
Bratislava, April 19 (TASR) – If anyone expected that there would be quarrels in the coalition, they should wake up, stated Slovak National Party (SNS) leader Andrej Danko after meeting Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD) on Thursday, adding that there aren’t any quarrels within the governing trio about appointing a new police chief and that the normal functioning of the coalition was in the frame.

Danko added that personnel issues weren’t discussed at all.
According to Pellegrini, what happened between SNS and him was down to the speed of developments. “There might have been a misunderstanding or feeling of being insufficiently informed, but the talks were friendly, constructive and professional. I assured SNS that my priority is to meet the Government Manifesto. I assured SNS that I don’t intend to revise or change the direction of Slovakia’s foreign-political orientation, which is clearly pro-European. I gave assurances that we won’t even change our attitude towards our eastern neighbours because Slovakia must have correct relations towards the East as well,” stated the premier.
Pellegrini also promised that ministers nominated by SNS will have room to be successful. “Because only then will the Government be successful. I’m leaving the meeting with the feeling that we have no unresolved questions and no tension,” he stated, adding that he’s also ready to meet with Most-Hid.
Danko added that they are cooperating and have to learn to cooperate. “Haste didn’t allow us to set our relationships anew. I’m saying with a smile that we’ve had a friendly meeting, which will probably be repeated because I felt that it gave us a lot,” he said.
According to him, the two sides spoke about improving communication also with regard to the upcoming municipal elections. “We’re fully aware of the burden and responsibility in running the state. It’s not a game for us, but work that is done with great difficulties. The problem is that we live at a time when information is perceived superficially, and no one explores whether it harms anyone. It’s a challenge for me to do something about this phenomenon,” he stressed.
Pellegrini also thinks that it’s worth asking what attitude the coalition will adopt towards this year’s municipal elections. “We’ll face an invasion of independent candidates. Then there’s also an Opposition bloc. We haven’t reached the conclusion that we’re going together across Slovakia, but there’s logic in helping each other at the regional level,” he added.
Danko said on Wednesday that SNS would invite Pellegrini to discuss their attitudes to governance-related issues. He stated he didn’t want to learn about departures of ministers or senior officials from the media. He said that he didn’t feel comfortable in the coalition because of this but stressed, however, that SNS wasn’t looking to revise the coalition agreement.
The other junior governing party, Most-Hid, didn’t agree with SNS’s criticism of Pellegrini. “We don’t see any shifts in the governing coalition in major political issues,” said the party in a statement.