Bratislava, July 9 (TASR) – The state has already spent almost €8 billion on fighting the novel coronavirus pandemic, which is a dizzying sum for our standards, said Prime Minister Eduard Heger (OLaNO) in a speech marking the first one hundred days of his Government, adding that it’s been possible to avert mass redundancies and the collapse of health care, to prevent a significant increase in personal tragedies and to prepare the conditions for mass vaccination.
“When I look at our common fight against the pandemic from above, I can see a Slovakia that isn’t on its knees but is fighting,” he said, noting that the crisis has been managed much better than the one in 2009. According to Heger, the early intervention of the government in April 2020 meant that the performance of Slovakia’s economy has fallen significantly less than the EU average.
“I feel regret over every person who has succumbed to the pandemic,” he said, stressing that the only effective weapon for fighting the pandemic is vaccination, which saves lives, mitigates the consequences of the disease and protects society economically. “If we can vaccinate the majority of the population, thereby significantly weakening the third wave of the pandemic, the economy will return to pre-crisis levels this year,” he said.
The premier pointed out that he set several priorities for his first 100 days as prime minister. “Representing Slovakia with dignity abroad. We’re proud of our rich historical heritage and we want to offer it while improving the quality of life in Europe. We have clear values, goals, we’re active and we also act abroad. The EU is our living space, and it’s great that it is so,” he said.
Heger also pointed to the recovery plan, which was assessed positively by the European Commission. “Thanks to our recovery plan, ordinary people in particular will benefit. They will get better health care, education, public transport, better housing and a healthier environment. After years of inactivity, it won’t be easy to turn these plans into reality,” said the prime minister.