Kiska: 2017 Will Be Slovakia’s Year of Truth

Slovak President Andrej Kiska (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, January 1 (TASR) – Slovakia is in a very good condition in terms of its economy at the beginning of 2017; but the question is whether it will be able to take advantage of these positive results, economic growth and the drop in unemployment in particular to provide better state services and a higher quality of life, stated Slovak President Andrej Kiska in his New Year’s speech on Sunday.

Kiska described the upcoming year as one of truth, as the country will see whether Slovak leaders can only speak about their good intentions or can also take action. Otherwise, the new year will hold up a merciless mirror to them, stated the president.

This year will be important due to the fact that a plan for reforming education is about to be launched. “Our top experts have prepared a good plan, and I’m very much in favour of such a broad political agreement regarding a reform of education,” said the Slovak head of state, adding that the entire education system has to adapt to a completely new era.

Kiska in his speech further stated that this year will show whether the current health minister [Tomas Drucker] and the Government in this electoral term will be able to catch up on projects that previous governments have neglected over the years. People have the right, wherever they may live, to quality health care from their insurance payments, said the president.

In addition, the Slovak head of state said that the new year will see a response to the question of whether the issue of socially deprived Roma citizens can be addressed solely by repression and demonstrations of force. “In some areas we need more order, but we also need a plan that will gradually bring children in particular out of ignorance and poverty. There are enough small regional examples where things work all right. Now we have to transfer them to larger dimensions.”

Kiska also stated that Slovakia handled its six-month Presidency of the EU Council with honour and at a high level. He described debates within the Union during the presidency as matter-of-fact and calm.