Slovakia’s PM calls on EU leaders to stop referendum ‘adventures’
Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico has called on other EU leaders to stop holding referendums on domestic issues, adding that the votes are hazardous for the EU and the euro.
“I am asking EU leaders to stop with adventures like the British and Italian referendums… on domestic issues which pose a threat to the EU,” Fico said on Monday.
“Britain is not a Eurozone country, Italy has a huge impact on the banking sector, the euro. What will we do if… there is a referendum in Italy on the euro and Italian citizens decide they don’t want the euro?” the Slovak Prime Minister added.
Fico was referring to the UK’s Brexit vote in June on leaving the EU, and last month’s rejection of constitutional reform in Italy.
In June, the nationalist Slovak People’s Party launched a petition to call a referendum on leaving the EU, but the motion was scrapped by the Slovak government.
The only successful referendum in the country was the 2003 vote on EU membership, with a 52 percent turnout and 92.5 percent in favor of joining the bloc.
Matthew Goodwin, associate professor at the University of Nottingham, believes that Brexit was just the beginning.
“The responses that the people have given were uncomfortable for the elites in the EU. As a consequence, they are now calling for those referendums to be stopped,” he told RT.
“The EU in itself is suffering from the lack of legitimacy at the grassroots among ordinary voters. The EU is now feeling this challenge in a very real sense. Of course, we have these big elections coming up where we’ll likely see those calls for referendums increase,” he added.
In France, Marine Le Pen, the leader of the right-wing National Front party and presidential candidate, has said that ‘Frexit’ would definitely be on the table if she becomes the country’s leader.
“Frexit will be a part of my policy. The people must have the opportunity to vote for the liberation from technocrats in Brussels,” she said back in December.
There is also an election coming up in the Netherlands, with major players in the race speaking out in favor of what they call ‘Nexit.’
“The EU leaves us no freedom to determine our own immigration and asylum laws. Nexit is necessary,” Geert Wilders, the leader of the anti-immigrant Party for Freedom, said.