Smer and Independents File Motion for Session on National Recovery Plan

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Smer-SD chairman Robert Fico (right) and the party's new vice-chairs Richard Takac (centre) and Lubos Blaha (left) at Smer's 'working congress' in Bratislava on July 18. (Photo by TASR)

Bratislava, September 18 (TASR) – The opposition Smer-SD party on Friday filed a motion in Parliament to convene an extraordinary parliamentary session that will deal with the national recovery plan that is supposed to be financed from the EU’s Next Generation programme.

As the party has managed to collect enough MPs’ signatures in support of the motion, the session should be convened within seven days. A total of 37 MPs provided their signatures, including the entire Smer-SD caucus, Stefan and Filip Kuffa, Jan Podmanicky, Tomas Taraba and seven MPs who defected from Smer to join Peter Pellegrini’s new party (all Independents).

“Nothing has been tabled yet, and it’s very important that Parliament [should see] the plan that the Government wants to send to the European Commission. The recovery plan is about how we’ll weather the crisis, how we’ll withstand the decline in economic growth. The Government can’t simply send such a plan to the EC without Parliament having a debate on it. This is absolute amateurism by Prime Minister Igor Matovic [OLaNO],” stated Smer-SD MP and former finance minister Ladislav Kamenicky.

“Let’s bear in mind that the Slovak economy is sinking, and this is happening because the Government has failed to cope with the crisis brought by the pandemic. Not only has it not dealt with it, it’s been adopting measures that are making the crisis even worse,” said Smer-SD head Robert Fico. “Slovakia will have an opportunity to spend almost €8 billion from the EC for the first time in history. We’re waiting and asking … why the Government doesn’t want to show us what it intends to present to the EC by October 15. Has anyone seen or heard anything that would tell us?” asked Fico.

“We have to make use of an extraordinary session. I can imagine that they’ll boycott it because they have nothing to present. We’re absolutely in the dark; we have no notion of what the Government will do with this money,” stated Fico.

The coalition is currently assessing analytical materials based on which it’s holding talks on the recovery plan and choosing priorities. Finance Minister Eduard Heger (OLaNO) has signalled that there will a public discussion regarding the plan, predicting that it could take place in October. In the minister’s view, the discussion will be more interesting when the priorities have been already planned out, as compared to a scenario in which the debate would take place in the summer when no priorities had been set.