BRATISLAVA – Prime Minister Igor Matovic (OLaNO), speaking on RTVS’s politics discussion programme ‘Sobotne dialogy’ (Saturday Dialogues), conceded that children could be “allowed” to go to school for at least a month during the two-month holidays in July and August to make it up at least partly for the coronavirus break, now lasting nearly two months.
Nevertheless, Matovic said that this will be possible only if Slovakia continues doing well vis-a-vis coronavirus.
Slovakia, pop. 5.5 million, has seen single-digit new daily cases of coronavirus infection for a week now, with the total tally being around 1,400 and the death toll reaching 24.
Matovic again reiterated one of his key policy statements regarding coronavirus, namely that not politicians, but epidemiologists should be the ones to decide, including on the re-opening of shops, for example. He called for responsibility of both the public and politicians, especially First Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Richard Sulik (SaS), who’s been warning for several weeks against devastating economic effects of the lockdown amid not a particularly rampant coronavirus outbreak in Slovakia.
However, Matovic on the show claimed Slovakia is in fact doing well economically. “As we have healthy people in Slovakia, we also have the healthiest firms,” he stated, adding that as soon as foreign demand recovers, Slovakia will be able to relaunch production.
When asked about his disputes with Sulik concerning the lockdown, Matovic said that shops, libraries and theatres are closed, but these facilities don’t represent industry.
“I’d be very pleased if he attempted to submit to authority, at least once in his life,” said Matovic in reference to the deputy head of the Cabinet, adding that experts represent authorities here. At the same time he called Sulik as “lacking responsibility”.