Freedom and Solidarity (SaS)

Freedom and Solidarity (SaS). SaS is a right-wing liberal party, created by Richard Sulik, a former businessman and advisor to the Slovak minister of finance.

The SaS is pretty much a libertarian party, holding extremely pro-market and liberal views on the economy but also very liberal views on social issues, backing liberal drug laws, and gay rights including same-sex marriage. The party holds anti-establishment and populist views on the political system and is broadly Eurosceptic, accusing the EU of being ‘bureaucratic machinery’.

The party has a strong presence on the internet, through which it predominantly established itself. It has been most popular with Slovakia’s youth.

The 2009 election represented SaS’s first electoral outing, just three months after its foundation.

The party came third in the 2010 election, and became the second largest party in the right-wing government formed that year. Yet, SaS differed substantially from its coalition allies in its radicalism on the economy, its social views and its Euroscepticism. SaS would later cause the government’s collapse when it refused to back Eurozone bailouts, arguing that Slovakia should not help bailout wealthier countries, causing the government’s collapse.

The party’s decision to collapse the government has not benefitted it however, and it has fallen back since 2012. It is now seen as irresponsible and has been hurt by competition with the right-populist Ordinary People.

SaS is a member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. In the likely event it elects a MEP they will find that they are very different to their ALDE partners, especially in terms of their views on European integration.