Heger: Gov’t Will Stand Up to Attempts to Pull Slovakia Out of EU or NATO

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Premier Eduard Heger (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, February 15 (TASR) – The Government will stand firm, it will not shy away and won’t be afraid if some people try to pull Slovakia out of the European Union (EU) or NATO, said Premier Eduard Heger (OLaNO) in a speech at the 20th annual conference to assess Slovakia’s foreign and European policy in 2021.

Slovakia has been a responsible partner and ally and has been clearly anchored in these organisations. It has expressed this in its documents and proudly declared it via its actions, stated Heger.

The premier pointed out that Slovakia now faces attacks from those spreading disinformation and by extremists to a much greater extent. They’ve escalated over the past couple of months, and the Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) between Slovakia and the USA has become a litmus test for them, noted Heger. According to him, the former leaders of Slovakia have turned into the leaders of the disinformation scene and want to return the country to the times of ‘Meciarism’ [the system in place under former premier Vladimir Meciar – ed.note]. Slovakia was a black hole and enemy for the West at that time, and it doesn’t want to return to that, stated Heger.

The Government wants to increase its capacity to combat disinformation, said the premier, adding that a centre for hybrid threats and related units at ministries should be set up. It plans to intensify its intelligence activities and invest in education so that people will know how Slovakia fought for democracy. The Government should increase credibility and confidence in a fair state that serves, respecting the rule of law. “This cannot be achieved by other means than investment in education, so that each of us will have in our genes an understanding of what happened in Slovakia and how we gained our democracy,” said Heger. He wants to strengthen cooperation with the EU, NATO and Ukraine. Slovakia will also support the Union’s strategic compass, said the premier.

Heger also said that democracy, peace and freedom are not a matter of course. They stand and fall with the people who believe in them, confess them, do not keep silent about them and declare them in word and deed. The Slovak Government clearly avows to this, stated the premier.