Slovak PM Robert Fico survives no confidence vote over high energy prices
Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico, right, arrives for an EU summit round table meeting at the Grand Masters Palace in Valletta, Malta, on Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. European Union heads of state and government gathered Friday for a one day summit to discuss migration and the future of the EU. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)
The Associated Press
Published Friday, February 17, 2017 6:18AM EST
BRATISLAVA, Slovakia -- Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico has survived a parliamentary no-confidence vote requested by the opposition over high energy prices.
Following a heated discussion, 60 lawmakers voted to oust Fico early on Friday, while 70 were against. The result was expected because the coalition government led by Fico's leftist Smer-Social Democracy holds a parliamentary majority.
Fico came under fire after new rules for calculating energy prices set by a state regulatory body resulted in higher prices of electricity and natural gas for consumers this year.
It was embarrassing for Fico, a populist leader who believes in a strong state role in the economy and promised to keep energy prices stable.
The new rules have already been cancelled and the head of the regulatory office has resigned.