Slovakia’s Neoliberal Churn: The Political Economy of the Fico Government, 2006-8
This paper examines the primary policy initiatives of the Slovak government led by Prime Minister Robert Fico between 2006 and 2008. Fico's 2006 campaign rejected the perceived inequalities and injustices of his predecessor's liberal economic reforms and promised to build institutions of social democracy. His government has achieved a mixed record of success. Bound by the threat of capital flight and devaluation, the government adopted the euro on Jan 1, 2009-successfully fulfilling its predecessor's policy. Beyond this, the lack of any clear economic or social crisis - in fact, the success of his predecessor's reforms - weakened the case for a major rollback of policies. The Fico government thus never felt compelled to offer a coherent social-democratic policy vision appropriate to a small and extraordinarily open export economy. Some government measures have helped fix important institutional shortcomings, but as a whole, its measures have been disconnected, ad hoc, client-driven, often corrupt, and all too often, needlessly statist. Slovakia now faces a crisis of demand in its export markets. Its economy will recover with these markets. In the meantime, however, Slovakia has lost the chance to build socially-oriented institutions that would help it to better cope with the global market place.
John A. Gould. "Slovakia’s Neoliberal Churn: The Political Economy of the Fico Government, 2006-8" Institute of European Studies and International Relations, Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences, Comenius University. Working Paper. 01/2009.