Slovakia PM offers to swap roles with finance minister | News | DW | 28.03.2021

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Slovakia PM offers to swap roles with finance minister

Prime Minister Igor Matovic has pitched switching jobs to resolve the standoff over the ruling coalition's pandemic measures. However, some are calling for his removal entirely.

Igor Matovic

Igor Matovic has come under increasing pressure over his handling of the pandemic

On Sunday, Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic offered to resign from his post and swap places with Finance Minister Eduard Heger.

Matovic has come under increasing pressure to relinquish his position for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

"We will exchange our posts with minister of finance, Eduard Heger. ... He is a good man and all of us can trust him," Matovic told reporters.

The crisis engulfing his governing coalition erupted when a secret deal to buy Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine came to light three weeks ago.

Coalition in danger of crumbling

Six ministers, including the health minister, have already departed from the 16-member Cabinet, and one party has announced that it will no longer be a part of the four-party coalition unless Matovic quits the government entirely.

Matovic and Heger are from the coalition's strongest party, OLANO.

Slovakia has been hit hard by the pandemic, and the standoff began after Matovic ordered a shipment of 2 million Sputnik V doses without his coalition partners' knowledge.

He defended the purchase, saying it would speed up the country's vaccination program.

During the pandemic in Slovakia, a country of 5.4 million people, Matovic's critics have also accused him of poor communication and political missteps.

jsi/nm (AFP, Reuters)

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