Sometimes you have just been out of power too long, and you simply must have it back. That seems to be what has happened in Slovakia where the left-ish SMER party of new Prime Minister Robert Fico has formed a coalition with the right-wing nationalist Slovak Nationalist Party (SNS), and the aging ex-Communists / populists of Vladimir MeÄiar’s HZDS. A summary of the coalition can be found at The Scotsman’s website here.
Fico’s decision has been widely criticised; the Party of European Socialists will vote to suspend SMER as a member party (PES press release here). However, Fistful of Euros has a somewhat differing take on the situation here, arguing that Fico is very much in control of the coalition and SNS and HZDS do not really have their hands on the levers of power.
I do wonder how long this coalition will last. It seems the rationale for its creation was one of opposition to the neo-liberal reforms, flat tax etc. of Dzurinda’s outgoing administration, and one is left wondering whether that will act as sufficient glue to hold things together. Further, with Slovakia now estranged from the PES, and with the rest of Europe looking aghast at the goings-on with Law and Justice’s power twins in Poland (see this from the BBC), the party-political signals from central Europe are none too optimistic at present.