On Friday evening the four governing coalition parties convened to sort out another conflict after 7 SaS party MPs intentionally blocked the KDH party from getting a revision to the Building Act pushed through parliament.
The meeting went on for four hours until midnight, after which the SaS and KDH heads did not turn into pumpkins, but into friends again, at least until the next round of bickering. At the press briefing afterwards, the atmosphere was almost jovial.
SaS head Richard Sulik apologised to his KDH partners for his MPs voting against the bill, while assuring KDH party chairman Jan Figel that everyone would vote in favour of it when it comes back around. Sulik believes that relations between the two parties will be better from now on after certain things were clarified and explained.
Jan Figel accepted the explanation and the apology, as well as the assurance that everyone would respect agreements in future. Prime Minister Iveta Radicova compared the situation to a relationship, saying a spark of love and a spark of tension were often present between solid partners.
The PM then expressed her conviction that the coalition is strong, saying they had made a commitment and would stick to it, standing united in parliament. This is all very well in theory, but with the SaS and KDH parties consistently at each other’s throats and with major differences in their policies, only time will tell if the PM is right.
Everyone is also questioning why the MPs prevented the bill from being passed, as it imposes higher fines for illegal constructions, and so there are suspicions that some of the MPs are lobbying for developers.
Building first and then worrying about the formalities later is something that certain people take as accepted practice in Slovakia, like the building of the Double Tree hotel next to the hockey stadium in Bratislava, which got its permits afterwards. The KDH revision also wants to make it easier to have such buildings demolished, something that has not been done to date.