Dzurinda says Fico is not going to change Slovakia's direction

I think this is the second time former PM Mikulas Dzurinda goes on the record to show that Slovakia should not be lumped in with other CEE countries. The country is largely disciplined and its behaving more like Estonia and Slovenia rather than Poland or Hungary.

If true, then i think that is the best outcome, a denmark like social protection with pro business policies to pay for it but not at the expense of employee welfare. This ought to be a civilised country's credo, and i would dearly like to see Slovakia go in that direction.

From the interview of Dzurinda to the Associated Press:

Former Slovak Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda expressed optimism Wednesday that the economic reforms he pushed will largely survive under the leftist-led bloc that ousted him this summer. In eight years as prime minister, Dzurinda oversaw the introduction of a flat tax and other pro-market reforms that made Slovakia popular with foreign investors. This summer, he was succeeded by Robert Fico, a left-wing leader who had pledged to dismantle many of the reforms, rattling foreign investors. But Dzurinda told The Associated Press that, as the new government approaches four months in office, he has grown increasingly optimistic that Fico will leave in place the bulk of his pro-market policies. "I feel that the mainstream of reforms in Slovakia will be kept," Dzurinda said by telephone from Bratislava.
Fico came to power on promises to introduce new taxes on the rich, arguing that Dzurinda's economic reforms had hurt the poor, the unemployed and pensioners. The coalition that Fico's Smer-Socialist Democratic Party built also generated anxieties because it includes an ultranationalist group, the Slovak National Party, and former authoritarian Premier Vladimir Meciar's Movement for a Democratic Slovakia.

Dzurinda, however, said he was relieved to see that so far, Fico was only making "cosmetic" changes to the reforms his government put through. "They do really very, very small changes," Dzurinda said. "I notice that they are evidently afraid to do something substantial because they understand that the Slovak economy is fantastically healthy." "So now I am more optimistic about reforms to Slovakia," he said. But Dzurinda said he also fears that the government will fail to tackle other reforms left unfinished — such as to the health and education systems.
"The good news is that the government is afraid to completely abolish our reforms, especially in the area of the economy," he said. "But the bad news is that the government is very populist and unable to ensure continuity of our policy." "The less he (Fico) does, the better for the country," he said. Slovakia has seen strong economic growth and a sharp fall in unemployment in recent years.

On RogerH's suggestion origina story here :)


  1. You forgot to include a link. This appears to be the original.

  2. quite right

    well IHT carries alot AP material so it is the same story, and sorry i didnt include the link, i am not a journalist so i forget those quotation niceties :)

    usually i put my comment plus the entire article so.. anyway thanks for your comment Roger

  3. It's not just a nicety. If you include a link there are sites like Technorati where you can look up who's linking to a page. For example, Here are the links for that IHT story. and this is who links to you.

    So it's worth doing so that you're more plugged into the internet, if that's what you want.

    By the way, I put my opinion about this on my page so there'd be a bit of advertising for you.

  4. Why does anyone care what the yesterday man thinks ? He was the second biggest crook after Mecair . Did one single major corruption case come to a successful end ? Even Mecair escaped the hangmans noose, in Daz's eight years of hell in power...

    Ps . Don't worry about any missing links Yogie, thats all nerd and loovie journalist crap ...and Oh my god you copied someone elses copied, copied story la de da ...The sort of thing that Beta Blockhead would get all woobley about .

  5. answer to "lancet"
    You have a distinctly original take on Dzurinda's term in power, he got Slovakia integrated into the richest club of nations on earth, and into the biggest military alliance where an attack on one nation is an attack on all (NATO).
    He reformed the economy with Miklos that is why its roaring ahead with china-like speed. That is what a patriot does, and as far as corruption is concerned, this is endemic in SLovakia as is in most countries to greater or lesser extent, other than a few countries in Scandinavia due to cultural reasons.

    About Meciar, have you heard of a thing called separation of the branches of government? Its when (in any country other than in sub-saharan africa) the executive branch cannot tell the judiciary what to do. The courts and the prosecutor are not Dzurinda's responsibility, if he did what you suggest Dzurinda would be a dictator based on the constitution of Slovakia and any other country in europe...

    I 'll stop here as all this is pretty elementary.

  6. The more I read your items and your condersending manner, the more I realise that you haven't a clue about the way politics or the country of people work here. Are just all bluster or are you able to digest news and read outside the right wing rags that bonk on in Slovakia ? You will excuse me but this is not an interlectual debate Blog , but a personal I love me wank .

    Quote ' To say the courts and the prosecutor are not Dzurinda's responsibility,( when he was helping appointing judges ) if he did what you suggest Dzurinda would be a dictator based on the constitution of Slovakia ..Correct he was !! The Simko sacking and the party split, was all to do with him and his personal greed for the Nato gun deal .

    Why no arrest of Mecair ?

    The deal for the sale of his HQ building , the Ba airport sale ( now reversed ) and the tunneling EU cash via SDKU run private enterprise bank ..the Highways Department . ( tell your mates what rural land to buy at skk20 m2 and get the highways office to buy it back at Skk 200 m2, when a Industrial Park or road runs through it )

    ps. I 'll stop here as all this is pretty elementary news to anyone with knowledge of what goes on in that big white building over looking the Danube.

  7. I would have thought that in order to be a dictator Dzurinda would have to take on emergency powers, and considering he left office without tanks going onto the street, I would suggest a different word.

    The trouble in Slovakia is that there are no heroes but no real villains either. For me, the interesting question is whether that's because they don't have the imagination or the nerve for Milosevic/Lukashenko evil or whether there is something in the system that balances them and stops them.

    What's the dark matter that keeps Slovakia a more or less normal country?

  8. I think Dzurinda's legacy is 90% positive. Despite some real difficulty faced by many slovaks, his terms in office coincided with accessions onto organisations that will define Slovakia's direction forever (EU & NATO).

    Poor man had to get Slovakia in the EU under the worst possible conditions, and there would not be another chance really. So his policies should be looked in the light of his unstable coalition, the high stakes of EU NATO, his personal unpopularity.

    The high growth of Slovakia is his creation and this should be recognised, unemployment is falling not because of Fico but because of Miklos and EU integration. There are a couple of further boosts that a responsible Robert Fico needs to achieve in his term(s) (he is likely to be re-elected so better get used to his neo neanderthal features :) )

    1. EURO, he must get in in 2009, the economics of this change are overwhelming, small countries have much more to gain from a strong currency, NBS blew 3 Billion Eur defending the Koruna because of inexperienced Fico's comments on his election. This underlines why the koruna should be exchanged

    2. The Euro will in effect provide safeguards that any future government can't ruin the economy or pursue mad policies.

    3. Slovakia needs to enter the EURO with an undervalued currency like Ireland has done, an economy like Slovakia's is small change to the ECB, if Slovakia joined with an undervalued currency (currently -40%) then it could enjoy at least 10 years of convergence effects with the rest of the eurozone (in effect negative interest rates). Ireland needs to be the model...

    4. Schengen accession is important for Bratislava, it will in effect cause Vienna's wealth to be shared with Bratislava, its vital that more transport links that are cheaper are also created, ideally a 1 euro ticket fast link between the cities.

    Lets be clear about it, Dzurinda would have never been elected normally, he is not popular and never was. Some Slovaks still get impressed by morons that are proud of what they are, like Meciar or Slota, this is because simply people have not had that many elections under their belt yet, some people want easy and radical solutions by action men. Of course these do not work anywhere, real change for the better is slow and is delivered by soft spoken technocrats with bald heads and not a whiff of popularity. The tragedy is that the credit is stolen by birds of technicolour plumage like Fico.

    The dark matter that keeps Slovakia on a virtuous path is the education of its citizens which iwas and should remain universal. The cultural influence from the Austrohungarian empire should not be underestimated either.

    Austrian politics have some striking similarities to Slovak ones in my mind.

    Coalition politics, Jorg Heider/Jan Slota, cynical but ultimately patriotic right wing parties. Despite some excesses and given the poverty of the country, the path has been remarkably smooth...

    Anywhere you look around these days the problems that being faced are much more intractable than Slovakia's, even Italy is locked in a disturbingly ominous cycle of unaffordable social provision, demographics, and political stalemate. In much of europe there is regression, whereas in SLovakia there is resurgence. Slovakia is also a globalisation winner so far, which is another plus, its a good time to be a Slovak...

    So i believe on the macro level things are going very well, on the micro level the problems of corruption, Meciar, anti hungarian attitudes, roma integration need to be tackled but they are unlikely to reverse the positive path of Slovakia overall.