In December 2022, Slovakia’s government failed a vote of no confidence. Now, a Technocratic government has been emplaced to hold the reigns while Bratislava waits for the snap election on September 30, 2023.
But it isn’t the vote of no confidence or the snap elections that have people raising concerns, it is the idea of who might win that is frightening the EU.
Since 2006, former Communist Robert Fico has been the head of Slovakian politics. Serving as Prime Minister rom 2006 to 2010 and then again from 2012 to 2018, Fico remained a controversial figure in Slovakia.
Known for his socialist economic policies and his conservatives social ideology, Fico has aligned himself away from the norms of the EU across his time as Prime Minister. His biggest controversy, however, was his cause for resignation in 2018 when he was linked to Slovak Mafia for the murder of Jan Kuciak and his girlfriend.
Now, Slovakia is facing the possibility of Fico coming to power once more. Why? Because in 2022, the coalition government led by the Ordinary People and Independent Personalities party failed a vote of no confidence. The vote was brought on by political infighting and incompetence between the coalitions member parties.
And as it stands, there doesn’t appear a likely coalition that could rise to push Fico and his Smer Party to the wayside. Projections suggest that Fico and his party could secure around 18% percent of votes in their parliamentary system.
One of the reasons for Fico’s rise in popularity is, oddly enough, the war in Ukraine. Slovakia sits on the fence in terms of policy towards the war at Europe’s edge. Many Slovaks support Putin and Russia, while a large portion remain indifferent to the war. The smallest group are those who are outright pro-Ukrainian.
And is is Fico’s party now — and in the past — that has advocated for more pro-Russian policies and influence from Moscow. Historically, Slovakia has also been one of the EU members to be crushed by the EU’s supranationalism, so it is no surprise that a substantial group seek influence from elsewhere.
Slovakia has been a donor of military aid to Ukraine, and opened its arms to refugees, but opposition leaders to the now-failing coalition are potentially looking to reverse that. Using that sentiment could be the focus of a “pro-Slovakia” movement before these snap elections in September.
What do you think? Will Fico rise to power in Slovakia and insititue pro-Russian policies in the EU?
Let me know in the comments.