First Slovak female PM Iveta Radicova takes power

Iveta Radicova in Bratislava, 8 July 2010 Iveta Radicova acknowledged that Slovakia was in an economic crisis

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Slovakia's first female prime minister, Iveta Radicova, has taken power at the head of a centre-right coalition.

The four parties in the coalition won a majority in elections on 12 June.

The centre-right campaigned on a programme of austerity and reviving the Slovakian economy, and has pledged to improve ties with neighbouring Hungary.

Ms Radicova, 53, was sworn in late on Thursday, and the new cabinet took power on Friday morning.

She takes over from centre-left leader Robert Fico, who had been prime minister since 2006.

On Friday Ms Radicova pledged to do everything necessary to provide a "great government, not only a good one".

"We are fully aware of the fact the Slovakia, like many other states, still faces the impact of a deep economic crisis, that Slovakia has a huge problem with its jobless rate, with the high level of corruption," she was quoted as saying.

Mr Fico's cabinet included anti-Hungarian nationalists and worsening ties with Hungary overshadowed the recent election campaign.

Official relations between the two neighbours are at an extremely low ebb, after months of mutual recriminations and name calling, the BBC's Rob Cameron reports from Prague.

The presence of an ethnic Hungarian politician in the new cabinet might go some way to smoothing things over, he says.

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