Premier: I Admit Loss in Effort to Push Through Testing, Headwind Was Stiff

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Prime Minister Igor Matovic at a press conference on December 9, 2020 on stricter measures that are to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, December 9 (TASR) – I admit a defeat in the issue of pushing through countrywide testing as an alternative to a lockdown, Prime Minister Igor Matovic (OLaNO) stated at a press conference on Wednesday on stricter measures that are to prevent the spread of COVID-19, TASR learnt on the same day.


The premier said this in connection with different attitudes he has with President Zuzana Caputova as well as the approach to the purchase of antigen tests by the Economy Ministry.

In the case of the president, the premier pointed out her questioning of the logistical provision of the first stage of mass testing and her disagreement with the mandatory form of testing in the next planned stages. “She de facto declared a verdict over the planned testing in December,” said Matovic.

Meanwhile, the premier also criticised Economy Minister Richard Sulik (Freedom and Solidarity/SaS) in connection with the purchase of antigen tests, which the Economy Ministry has been tasked to carry out. “You know how it turned out, he’s [Sulik] making excuses,” said the prime minister, noting that the first large-volume purchase was managed by the State Material Reserves Administration quickly.

According to Matovic, the reality and impossibility of countrywide testing means that his dream went up in smoke. “I had a dream that might have been unpleasant, but less painful for the people and the economy. But the headwind was strong when the president and the economy minister stood at its head,” said the premier, adding that we are now left “a lockdown which the president called for”.