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Leftist Leader Named Slovakia's Prime Minister


Slovakian President Ivan Gasparovic has appointed leftist leader Robert Fico as the country's new prime minister.

Mr. Fico heads the Smer Party, which won the most votes in last month's parliamentary elections, but not enough seats to form a government by itself.

He has upset many Slovak intellectuals and diplomats by forming a coalition government with the extreme right wing National Party and a party led by former authoritarian Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar.

Economic analysts say a government that includes the far right could hurt the Slovak economy and may not be welcomed by the West.

Socialists in the European Parliament Tuesday called for Smer to be suspended from their pan-European group for joining forces with the right-wingers.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AP.

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