Bratislava, April 6 (TASR) – The extraordinary parliamentary session convened to hold a vote of no-confidence in Labour, Social Affairs and the Family Minister Jan Richter (Smer-SD) over the Clean Day scandal is absurd, and the Opposition failed to table a single relevant argument for Richter’s ouster, said Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer-SD) in the debate in Parliament on Thursday.
Fico called the opening speech of Natalia Blahova (Freedom and Solidarity/SaS), which clocked in at more than two-and-a-half hours, nothing but “old wives’ tales”.
“Over the course of three hours, you haven’t submitted a single argument that would justify this proposal. Old wives’ tales are one thing, however, and specific arguments for ousting a member of the Government another,” said Fico, who called the Opposition-sponsored proposal insane.
Fico asked the submitters whether they don’t mind the fact that the motion was signed by We Are Family party leader Boris Kollar, an “MP caught in photographs with all mobsters linked to the drugs trade” and also an MP who, according to Fico, sought sex with a 15-year-old girl. “If this doesn’t bother you, then I feel sorry for you,” Fico told the Opposition.
The prime minister pointed out that it was centre-right and liberal politicians who decided in the past that children could be resocialised and treated at privately owned facilities such as Clean Day. “If we have children who are sent to such facilities either by a court or parents, minister Richter is ready to create conditions that would make it possible to place these children in state-run facilities. This is a social welfare state, after all” said Fico.
Fico also dismissed potshots taken against Richter over his approach to unemployment. “If you say that unemployment has reached an all-time low, but it’s necessary to dismiss him because if he hadn’t been there, the figure would have been even lower – are we supposed to take that seriously? Really? Have some respect for the state. The country is faring well, its public finances and unemployment are in order. Don’t point an accusing finger at Richter. He should be thanked for the all-time low unemployment rate. You’re not even familiar with basic facts,” said the premier.