Bratislava, December 7 (TASR) – Prime Minister Igor Matovic (OLaNO) stated on Monday following a session of the Government that he wants to meet President Zuzana Caputova this week to discuss their constitutional powers and to ask her to refrain from telling the public that mass testing for COVID-19 in the country should be voluntary, as Slovakia can choose either mass testing or a lockdown.
“We have to clarify our powers and resolve the issue of who stands on the side of Marian Kotleba, Robert Fico and Peter Pellegrini and who stands on the side of common sense,” stated Matovic, adding that he hopes he’ll manage to persuade both the president and the public that mass testing is a less painful way. Should the Government obtain the president’s support, it will carry out another round of mass testing. If not, the testing will be a failure because people won’t respect it, according to Matovic.
The premier criticised Caputova for saying in late November that in her view further rounds of mass testing in the country should be voluntary. According to Matovic, mass testing is an effective tool that helped to contain the outbreak of the disease in the Orava area, for example, but the president has taken away this tool from the Government by expressing her opinion. “Either the President’s Office says that it was wrong or it maintains that the testing should be voluntary and in that case there’ll be a lockdown,” claimed Matovic.
Matovic noted that he views it as “a road to hell” if the president supports the opposition and questions the moves of the Government, calling it irresponsible that the president tells people “sweet” things they want to hear while the Government adopts measures.
Addressing her statement that he should consider letting someone else deal with managing the pandemic in the country, Matovic stated that he doesn’t manage the crisis. “I’m not the coronavirus crisis manager. I don’t know how I’m supposed to step down from a post that I don’t even occupy,” he said, claiming that he’s trying to help individual ministers.
The premier went on to remark that he feels like “a dog beaten from every side”. “People view me as the worst dog that only wants to hurt people, even though what I want is that they have the easiest way out of the pandemic,” said Matovic, mentioning hatred, biased media and intentional “fouls” from a coalition partner.