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Slovakia will not be entering into any international pandemic agreements with WHO, Prime Minister says
During a SMER party conference, Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico declared that his government will not sign the World Health Organisation’s Pandemic Treaty and SMER Members of Parliament will not ratify in parliament the Pandemic Treaty with the WHO because it is a project of greedy pharmaceutical companies.
Robert Fico was appointed as Slovakia’s Prime Minister for the fourth time on 25 October 2023 after his SMER – Slovenská Sociálna Demokracia (“SMER”) party won the election on 30 September and formed a coalition with the centre-left HLAS – Sociálna Demokracia (“HLAS”) and nationalist Slovenská Národná Strana (“SNS”) parties.
A week ago, during an hour-long speech at the SMER party conference, of which he is chairman, Prime Minister Fico stated that he will not support strengthening the powers of the World Health Organisation (“WHO”) at the expense of sovereign states in the fight against pandemics. “Only insane pharmaceutical companies could come up with such nonsense,” he told the more than 400 guests, ambassadors, delegates and party members present.
His speech is on YouTube in Slovak. There is no autogenerated translation available so we turn to alternative sources for translations into English. Door to Freedom has published the clip below from Fico’s speech with English subtitles.
Writing about his speech alternative media outlet InfoVojna wrote (Czech to English translation using Google Translate):
[The Pandemic Treaty] would transfer health powers in times of a pandemic from the national ministries of health of the signatory countries to the World Health Organisation. The WHO would then acquire draconian decision-making powers, which the signatory countries would have to follow, not only in the area of the obligation to purchase vaccines and medicines ordered by the WHO, but it could also happen with compulsory vaccinations ordered by this multinational organisation. And it was Robert Fico who unequivocally rejected this and declared that SMER MPs would not raise their hands for such a proposal.
Fico called the entire agreement with the WHO a plan of greedy pharmaceutical companies, which began to worry about their business, when it now appears that many countries of the world are ceasing to purchase vaccines, cancelling vaccination mandates and the entire business of the pharmaceutical companies is going down the drain. The Pandemic Treaty is supposed to change this and ensure that, through the WHO, the collection of vaccines will be mandated and authoritatively prescribed to all member countries that sign the Pandemic Treaty and then ratify in the parliaments.
Robert Fico declared at the ceremonial assembly at Bratislava Castle that Slovakia under his government will not sign the Pandemic Agreement with the WHO, because it is a project of greedy pharmaceutical companies, InfoVojna, 20 November 2023
Martin Demirov who describes himself as someone who likes to “post translations of censored press articles and search for various interesting facts” has written about Fico’s speech in a post on Twitter. His post is in Polish, which we’ve reproduced below in English using the translation generated by Twitter.
Fico Delivered a Speech at the Party Congress “The Previous Government Killed 20,000 People During Covid!”
By Martin Demirov
Fico outlined his priorities: If they arrested me, change would not be possible.
One of the longest-existing parties, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary next year, held its annual congress.
SMER won the elections in September, and party chairman Robert Fico immediately reminded more than 400 guests, ambassadors, delegates and party members not to be so serious. “For God’s sake, we won.” In his introductory speech, he presented a vision of change for the coming year. Remembering the “covid madness” and the need to change the law protecting criminal groups associated with the previous government, he did not hide his joy at reuniting with the HLAS party.
In the first half of his speech, Fico criticised the former government and its leadership (for covid madness, for warmongering), in the second half he talked about the party’s goals, and less than two hours later he ended the speech with the words: “we are here, we move on, they did not break us.”
According to party vice president Juraj Blanar, Fico’s leadership is important for SMER. Long live the Slovak Republic,” he concluded his speech. What was the direction of change?
The guests included representatives of Bulgaria, ambassadors of Great Britain, China, the United States of America, as well as Cuba, the Czech Republic and Hungary.
The Polish ambassador also confirmed his presence. The guests also included the president of the Pensioners’ Union, Michał Kocjan, the president of the Association of Slovak Towns and Villages, Józef Bożek, and the president of the Association of Anti-fascist Fighters, Viliam Longauer. Representatives of employers were also present.
Among the Ministers present were Defence Minister Robert Kalinak, Finance Minister Ladislav Kamenicki and Agriculture Minister Ryszard Takacz. Zuzana Plewikova, deputy chairman of the party and member of the youth organisation, also attended the meeting.
Thanks to over 20 years of experience, Fico knows how to energise his people and focus on proven electoral topics, thanks to which, although he won electoral votes, he was among politicians leaning towards the alternative scene. “It’s a party convention, it’s not a cabinet meeting, so stop being so serious, we won the election, for God’s sake.”
Blanard welcomed Fico, the national anthem was played and a minute of silence honoured the memory of the dead
In his speech, he wanted to present a vision for the next year, but he didn’t get there until the second half of the speech. “We won the parliamentary elections for the fifth time,” he said.
“We are absolutely the best, and I emphasise this a thousand times, political party in the history of modern Slovakia and we want to remain that way,” he said.
We naturally reconnected with HLAS.
At the beginning of his speech, he also touched on the illegal actions of the former government during the Covid-19 pandemic, praised the media alternative to the mainstream and attacked the previous government for repression and compulsory vaccinations. Four Media – Denník N, denník Sme, Markízu and Aktuality – did not receive accreditation. Since last week, they have also been unwanted guests in the government building.
“Slovakia is talking more and more openly about the 20,000 victims of mismanagement in the country and the government’s senseless decisions,” continued the four-time Prime Minister. He wants to support the efforts of politicians who want to hold the previous government to account and has no plans to support the work of the World Health Organisation to the detriment of sovereign states when it comes to managing the fight against the pandemic. “Such nonsense could only have been invented by greedy pharmaceutical companies,” he said.
He called SMER a “write-off” party after the 2020 elections, whose opponents were delighted that social democracy split into two groups when Peter Pellegrini left the party to gain the right to vote. “But it is natural that we met again to co-operate in the government. It is no coincidence that we kept emphasising before the early elections that the basis for forming a new government should be the merger of SMER and HLAS,” he said.
“The shock of our opponents after SMER’s election victory and subsequent decisive steps to quickly form a government was so great that they created an atmosphere as if we had stolen the electoral victory and had to hand it over to the opposition liberal “progressive Slovakia,” he said. In addition to PS, he again criticised President Zuzana Caputova.
In response to the suspension of membership in the European Socialist Party, Fico said he did not know why they intervened, because it was the same party as in the past. “SMER is not a pennant that turns wherever the wind blows,” he said, adding that Portugal was behind the suspension. Party membership has never served them well, and Fico only remembers a lot of criticism. “When did the party of European Socialists help us over the last 20 years? When? I don’t remember,” he added.
Andrei Danko’s party, coalition partner SNS, was criticised abroad mainly for choosing a more radical path. Before the elections, SNS merged with three smaller far-right organisations, and several of its members were candidates for the Our Slovakia People’s Party, whose leader, Marian Kotleba, was convicted of extremism and also lost his seat.
Robert Fico blamed the politicians who led Slovakia in the last parliamentary term for the state of the country it is in. “We were not destroyed because we had a different opinion about covid, we were not destroyed because we had a different opinion about Ukraine and we were not destroyed because of an attempt to arrest us for political activities,” he said.
“I don’t know if there is an opposition politician in the EU who has been accused four times in three years for his political views. Not because of corruption, but because of his political views,” he told foreign guests. Fico, along with Tibor Gashpar and Robert Kalinak, were accused by the previous authorities of many “crimes.”
“I was lucky that I didn’t go to prison, because if they had put me in jail for my political views after two press conferences where we told the truth, neither you nor I would be sitting here today because the party would have been destroyed,” he said.
Fico also touched on the presidential and European elections. “The party’s vice-chairman Lubosz Blaha also expressed interest in the elections, the European Parliament is certainly waiting for you, Lubosz,” Fico said. Recently, the opposition wanted to fire him for hanging a portrait of revolutionary Che Guevara instead of a portrait of President Zuzana Caputova after taking over as deputy speaker of Parliament, but the coalition blocked the session. A few days ago, he also published his book “CHE”
In addition, he also talked about the need for changes in the Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure, and the need for changes in the special prosecutor’s office. He called, among other things, for an urgent change to the whistle-blower law, which currently protects investigators around Jan Churilla and Lubomir Danek.
The party’s goal is to stabilise the country and finances and win again. Later, Fico also reached the main political goals of the SMER party. In particular, the most important of them is a successful government that will end in 2027 with victory in the parliamentary elections. In his speech, he outlined what the government should focus on in the coming months. “I don’t see a successful government as a set of numbers, indicators or charts. We will only be successful in 2027 when people realise that it is better, more peaceful and safer,” he said.
Fico stressed the need for political stability and efforts to minimise conflicts within the coalition. He also called for quick policy solutions to show interest in “stabilising disrupted public finances at a reasonable and sustainable pace.” Sufficient financial reserves must also be created to compensate for high energy prices, especially for households.
He also wants to reduce the impact of high interest rates on mortgages and subsequent refinancing in 2023, while announcing direct mortgage assistance in 2024. He also confirmed the aim of creating the financial conditions for the payment of the full 13th pension. He also stressed the need to have all the necessary regulatory tools and resources to intervene in the event of significant fluctuations in food prices.
According to Fico, the government should also immediately decide how to transfer as many European Funds as possible to regions, cities and municipalities and simplify the administrative burden of obtaining them as much as possible. He also called for changes to regulations governing licensing procedures and procurement conditions to be approved “in record time.” According to the Prime Minister, the best proposal for the Education System for practical purposes should also be agreed upon so that the changes come into force at the beginning of the 2024/2025 school year.
He also confirmed that the government had started negotiations on new foreign investments. “We have something to consider, we are currently reviewing projects. It is always a question of the scale of state aid,” he said. He also considers it his duty to support every Slovak company that wants to operate in foreign markets.
Within two to three months, the coalition will have to develop a mechanism and regulations to shorten the period during which legal migrants with the qualifications necessary to run a business in Slovakia will be able to obtain all permits. He said the proposed measures are the minimum the government must take. He emphasised that all actions should be undertaken within the framework of broad social dialogue. He also confirmed that talks on the government’s withdrawal will take place in Trenčín in December and in Prešov at the end of January. In addition to Fico, the party’s vice presidents, Lubosz Blaha, Ladislav Kamienicki and Ryszard Takacz, also appeared.