New Slovak government takes office

Igor Matovic was apponted as country's new prime minister

Igor Matovic

Slovak President Zuzana Caputova appointed Igor Matovic as prime minister on Saturday to lead a new center-right government coalition after a February election swept anti-graft opposition parties to power. The government handover comes as the central European country of 5.5 million battles the spreading coronavirus outbreak that has put Europe on lockdown, pressuring Matovic’s four-party coalition to agree a cabinet quickly.

“Bearing in mind our responsibility and the burden we received, that is the coronavirus pandemic, we have signed a deal so that we could make good on our promise to make Slovakia a country that all honest people could be proud of,” Matovic said after the parties signed their coalition deal.

OLANO will lead with three other parties - Sme Rodina (We are Family), a socially conservative and eurosceptic party; SaS (Freedom and Solidarity), an economically liberal party; and Za Ludi (For the People), a mildly conservative party led by former president Andrej Kiska.

Matovic's government replaces a centre-left Smer party-led administration that has ruled the country through a period of economic growth since 2012, and for 12 of the last 14 years. Party’s popularity, however, has slipped since the 2018 murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee led to massive street protests against alleged corruption that are still reverberating.

As Europost reminds, Matovic, 46, and his OLANO party (a politically amorphous, pro-European Union and pro-NATO movement focused on fighting corruption) won 25% of the vote in the 29 February election.

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