Bratislava, July 21 (TASR) – Former three-times prime minister Robert Fico (Smer-SD) criticised current Premier Igor Matovic (OLaNO) after the latter’s return from the EU summit in Brussels on Tuesday, claiming that he’s lost millions of euros for Slovakia and that he’s also degraded Slovakia’s presentation at the top EU level.
According to Fico, Matovic doesn’t speak English properly, and he probably didn’t speak to other leaders and failed to negotiate better conditions for Slovakia, while Hungary and the Czech Republic, for example, fared much better.
Fico claimed that several European leaders have rung him up to ask about the “joker” that Slovakia sent to the summit. The former prime minister criticised Matovic’s relaxed posts on Facebook from the summit and his overall communication, stating that Matovic has left a “disastrous” impression in Brussels.
Slovakia’s alleged defeat consists in the way in which the €750-billion coronavirus recovery fund will be distributed, as originally €500 billion was supposed to be in the form of grants, which would be easier to spend. However, the package of grants has ended up reaching only €390 billion, with the rest of the €750 billion to be drawn as loans. According to Fico, Matovic made a concession when he could have vetoed any proposal. For example, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban was able to negotiate better conditions than those presented earlier, as it had been proposed that the rule of law would be a prerequisite for providing any aid.
“This is the result of the work done by our little fool, who went there without having the faintest idea of what the talks would be about,” said Fico.
In addition, Slovakia was supposed to receive around €26 billion as part of the EU budget and the recovery fund. “However, we’ll pay €8 billion in deductions to the EU budget, while another €5.1 billion will have to be paid by Slovakia as a contribution for settling an investment loan,” said Fico, adding that the overall sum destined for Slovakia has thus been reduced to €13 billion, which is “the bill for Matovic’s stupidity”.
Slovakia had expected to receive €960 million from the EU for transforming the Upper Nitra coal-mining region, but it now seems that it will only get €300 million. “Congrats,” said Fico.