Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, welcomes a new mayor. His name is Milan Ftachnik, who took office on December 21, 2010.
Milan Ftachnik is a representative of left-wing Slovak politicians. He is the first left-wing elected mayor for the last 20 years in Bratislava.
At the last local elections in Slovakia on November 28, 2010 Milan Ftachnik acted as an independent candidate. At the same time he was supported by SMER - currently the strongest opposition party in Slovakia.
Milan Ftachnik defeated his nearest rival - Magda Vashareva, who represented the ruling party SDKU-DS – by more than 20,000 votes.
It is worth noting that the ruling party was defeated in local elections in Slovakia in a number of major cities of the country. Thus, the mayor of Kosice - the second largest city in the country – now is also the representative of the opposition, former Health Minister Richard Rasi.
As mayor of Bratislava Milan Ftachnik replaced Andrej Durkovsky, who managed Bratislava for the last 8 years. Among the priority actions that intends to realize Milan Ftachnik is reducing the wages of the city council by 10%.
It is worth noting that the elected mayor will have to establish contacts with the "right" Parliament, as 30 of the 45 Bratislava Council members represent the ruling coalition.
In this case the Slovak press notes that the new post of Milan Ftachnik is accompanied by a number of "uncomfortable" moments. Among them are the debts of the City Hall in Bratislava. The former mayor has taken several loans for the reconstruction of the Old Town Hall, the Old Bridge and the ice palace, which should become the main arena of the upcoming World Hockey Championship to be held in Slovakia in 2011.