The newly formed minority government in Slovakia has appointed another minister who is known not only for his close ties to the Euro-Atlantic political lobby, but also for his hostile views towards the current government in Budapest.
Rastislav Kácer, the new minister of foreign affairs appointed only weeks ago after the liberals of the SaS party have left the Slovak government coalition, is the second senior minister with close ties to lobby groups working to enhance the United States’ global influence. Alongside Karel Hirman, the newly appointed Slovak economy minister, he is the second cabinet member with a record of spreading false accusations about the government of Viktor Orbán regarding alleged intentions to re-annex territories lost by Hungary as a result of the 1920 peace treaty.
As we have reported earlier, minister Hirman has earlier this year published an editorial in the Slovakian newspaper Postoj implying that the Hungarian government could have made a secret agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the re-annexation of Transcarpathia, Western parts of Ukraine to Hungary. In a similar fashion Kácer, a former ambassador to Budapest, has in the past accused the conservative Hungarian government of contemplating the seizure of Slovakia, or parts of it, and joining them to Hungary. For this he was reported to the police for spreading alarmist news but was never charged.
Kácer’s appointment as an ambassador to Hungary had a rather acrimonious end when he asked his mandate to be shortened due to his aversion to the country’s democratically elected government and leaders, and have left his post with an interview in the Slovak papers that many had viewed as a violation of diplomatic impartiality. In this he accused Viktor Orbán of building a “Byzantine” type of rule, creating oligarchs, an autocratic regime, and of projecting himself as a “prophet”. He also accused Hungarian politicians of creating an artificial hysteria around the US billionaire George Soros, who, in his opinion, is supporting only good causes and is fighting for the freedom of press.
After leaving Budapest, Kacer has immediately joined one of the “good causes” supported by George Soros’ Open Society Foundations (OSF), the Atlantic political lobby group, Globsec. Apart from the OSF, it is also partnered with the US State Department, the Political Capital Institute, or the German Marshall Fund. Among its advisory board one can find a who-is-who of Euro-Atlantic power brokers, many of them are known to have similarly adverse opinion about the current Hungarian leadership, such as the former German Secretary-General of the European Commission Martin Selmayr, or former Hungarian prime minister Gordon Bajnai, whose premiership has brought Hungary to the brink of a debt default.
Photo: Facebook Rastislav Kácer
Kácer and Hirman’s joining the new Slovak cabinet speaks volumes about who is currently in control in Slovakia and their presence does not bode well for the Visegrad 4 regional partnership either. To the north they have a conservative government on Poland, to the south the government of Viktor Orbán in Hungary. Their main point of regional orientation, at least until recently, has been neighboring Czechia, but the recent decision from Prague to reinstate border checks with Slovakia due to increased levels of illegal migration have put the Slovak government in a position where they could be forced to reinterpret their attitudes towards their immediate neighbors.
The first signs of just this could be seen in Rastislav Kácer’s remarks made after a meeting with his Czech counterpart on Monday. In a statement he has admitted that Slovakia’s performance in terms of fighting illegal migration was not exactly exemplary, and said that the system of European readmission agreements was outdated because it was established before the Schengen area was created. The key problem, he said, was the protection of the Schengen external borders. In this newly formulated stance of his he has managed to come surprisingly close to the solution favored by the government in Budapest, which gives reason for some hope that the relationships between the two neighbors will in the long term see some improvement.
Featured Photo: Slovakian Parliament, Pixabay