(RTVS, ‘Sobotne dialogy’, February 23)
Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD) stated on RTVS’s discussion programme ‘Sobotne dialogy’ (Saturday Dialogues) that despite different opinions on some matters in Smer-SD, there’re no splits in the party.
According to Pellegrini, his relations with head of Smer-SD Robert Fico, whom Pellegrini replaced as prime minister, hasn’t changed for three years.
“I have been a member of the party for twenty years, I have occupied various positions and I’m a proper part of the party’s management. Robert Fico didn’t address me personally any expressive words the media wrote about,” stated Pellegrini.
The prime minister also talked about the investigation of the murder of journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee Martina Kusnirova, the phone call between Fico and Italian businessman Antonino Vadala, the conflict between Fico and President Andrej Kiska, the vote of candidates for the Constitutional Court and the protest of dissatisfied farmers.
Regarding the vote of candidates for the Constitutional Court Pellegrini stated the there’s will to find an agreement. “Should we find a consensus, the Constitutional Court could work in a better shape in a few weeks…” he said. Pellegrini was disappointed with the fact that no agreement was found during the first vote. Pellegrini is of the opinion that the vote should be by secret ballot.
When it came to the murder of Kuciak Pellegrini said that he trusts the management of the police. He’s convinced that nothing will be swept under the carpet and the persons responsible for the murder will be eventually punished.
Regarding the call of Fico with Vadala Pellegrini admitted that he talked about it with Fico. “I saw the confirmation that the Italian Prosecutor’s Office doesn’t have such information,” stated Pellegrini. Pellegrini thinks that if there’s evidence regarding the call, the media should publish it even without telling the source.
When asked about the protesting farmers the prime minister stated that the Government has already been addressing several of their demands. For example, he mentioned the support of starting farmers. Pellegrini thinks that if some specific farmers have been wronged, for example they haven’t been awarded subsidies, redress in such cases should be sought.
Pellegrini also assessed the year after Kuciak’s murder. He pointed out that the interest in public matters has risen but he doesn’t appreciate that the society has been divided.