Slovak presidency goes to PM Fico’s proxy – POLITICO

The opposition-backed Korčok said he saw no reason to send Slovak soldiers to fight in neighboring Ukraine, but added that he supported Kyiv in its war against invading Russian forces because “Ukraine’s security increases our own security … It’s clear that if Ukraine loses the war, it brings war that much closer to our own border.”

Then it was the turn of Erik Tomáš, minister of social affairs and a member of Pellegrini’s party, who said at a March 27 press conference: “I want to tell people, seniors and all at-risk groups, that if Korčok becomes president and this government falls, you will lose all your social benefits.”

Tomáš did not explain how Korčok could cause the government to fall or what power the presidency had over social benefits, which are approved by Tomáš’ own ministry.

Speaking at the same press conference, Pellegrini harked back to the Covid-19 pandemic, which unfolded during the previous 2020-2023 government in which Korčok served as foreign minister. Also siding with pensioners, Pellegrini said that “during the pandemic, they were locked up at home … they froze the minimum pensions, on which you can barely survive, and for several years they did not increase them even by a penny.”

Tomáš then announced a one-time payment of €300 to pensioners “as compensation and recompense for all these damages,” as well as a Christmas pension bonus of €600.

Defense Minister Robert Kaliňák on March 28 announced that some 20,000 Slovak soldiers and ministry employees would be receiving a €500 spring bonus. Not to be outdone, Interior Minister Matúš Šutaj Eštok — also a member of Pellegrini’s Hlas party — announced on social media that almost 24,000 police and firefighters would be receiving a €500 bonus in their next pay packets as well.

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