Róbert Fico's political party came under double pressure.
The winner of the parliamentary elections in Slovakia, the Smer political party may be expelled from the pan-European Party of European Socialists (PES) due to the pro-Russian position of its leader Róbert Fico. As Politico writes, the PES is now under increasing pressure, both internal and external.
At a press conference on Tuesday, the European People’s Party (another party in the European Parliament) leader Manfred Weber compared Róbert Fico with the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who is also distinguished by his open sympathy for Moscow.
“Whenever we listen to Fico it sounds like Orbán. What I am asking is a clarification process on the Socialists’ [the PES - Ed.] side. What are they doing now with their own family member?” Weber said.
Before the election, Stefan Lövfen, the president of the PES, threatened Fico with expulsion of the Smer from the Smer pan-European party. And it seems that the position of the Eurosocialists has not changed: on Monday, Mr Fico complained on Facebook that instead of congratulations on winning the home elections, he received only “blackmail” from the PES.
Top PES MEP Pedro Marques noted that it is worth first seeing whether the Smer will begin to put into practice its rhetoric in the election race. He said that it’s not only about stopping support to Ukraine but also about other things that seem unacceptable to Europeans - in particular, there are risks of homophobic rhetoric by the winners of the parliamentary elections in Slovakia.
It is noteworthy that in a letter to the European Parliament, which Politico journalists reviewed, the Smer representatives actually disavowed the words of their leader Róbert Fico.
“We have never defended the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. We will continue without humanitarian and financial support towards Ukraine,” the letter reads. Its authors ask MEPs to wait until the Smer forms a new government in Slovakia.
Victory of the Smer party in the elections in Slovakia
Last Sunday parliamentary elections took place in Slovakia. The Smer political party. Its leader had already been the prime minister in the past but lost the post after a scandal. During the election campaign, Mr Fico repeatedly promised to stop all support for Ukraine and openly spread Russian anti-Ukrainian propaganda.
“The war in Ukraine did not start a year ago, it started in 2014, when Ukrainian Nazis and fascists began killing Russian citizens in Donbas and Luhansk,” Fico said at one of the election rallies.