Bratislava, February 12 (TASR) – The departure of MEP Lucia Duris Nicholsonova from the junior governing Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) is “perhaps a slightly exaggerated reaction” to the conflict over EU funds, party leader and Economy Minister Richard Sulik stated on Friday.
According to Sulik, the conflict with head of another junior coalition For the People party and Vice-premier Veronika Remisova hasn’t left any damage, he considers it to be closed, and he also apologised to Remisova.
Sulik wants to talk to Duris Nicholsonova about the matter. He won’t try to persuade her to return to SaS. “I’ll talk to her, but it doesn’t make sense to force her to stay,” he said, adding that members should be contented in the party. “Of course, I’m sorry about her departure, because she’s been an important member, but life goes on,” he added.
According to the SaS chief, he apologised for the form of Duris Nicholsonova’s press conference. “I think Veronika Remisova accepted this excuse, the thing is closed, we communicate normally, it hasn’t left any big damage. The whole matter was perhaps a little overestimated from today’s point of view. Even leaving SaS as a reaction to this is maybe a slightly exaggerated response, but it could also be due to the fact that Lucia simply came to the conclusion that she no longer wants to be a member of the party, and we are left with nothing else but to respect it,” he pointed out.
Sulik won’t demand that Duris Nicholsonova resign as an MEP, adding that he had never asked this from any member who had left the party so far.
The situation occurred following a dispute between Duris Nicholsonova and Remisova in connection with EU funds. On Monday (February 8), Duris Nicholsonova told a news conference that Slovakia has irrevocably lost one billion euros because it failed to reallocate the money from the European Regional Development Fund by the end of 2020. Remisova rejected the claim, adding that Duris Nicholsonova spouted a great deal of misleading information at the press conference.
Leaders of the coalition parties subsequently discussed the issue at a Coalition Council session, with Sulik apologising for the situation.