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Slovakia

Yearbook 1998

Slovakia. During the eventful year, the country detached itself from prolonged political paralysis and international isolation. The political paralysis heard that Parliament failed five times to elect a new president after the outgoing Head of State Michal Kováč. According to Countryaah, the presidential power was thus transferred to the arch-enemy of Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar, who immediately exercised his extended powers and dismissed half of Slovakia's ambassadors, all appointed by Kováč.

Four months before the parliamentary elections, the self-proclaimed Mečiar failed to persuade Parliament to change the electoral law to stop election alliances and to ban electoral propaganda in private media. It was angered by the opposition that during the election, Mečiar managed to get international celebrities to stand on the part of the dubious politician. The four opposition parties in the Slovak Democratic Coalition (SDK) - which includes everything from the conservative Christian Democrats to the environmental party - won the election by a large majority even though the Mečiars Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (Hnutie za Demokrické Slovensko, HZDS) became the largest single party with 27% of the votes. As Mečiar's party lacked a coalition partner, SDK's leader, 43-year-old Mikuláš Dzurinda, had to form the new government. Some of the first decisions were to allow the overvalued Slovak krona to flow and that the president should continue to be elected directly by the people, which meant that Mečiar was completely out of Slovakia's political life. The EU, NATO and the OSCE welcomed the Slovak changes and promised to help break the country's isolation.

1998 Slovakia

A major reason for the right-wing turn was that social democracy in the wake of the 2015 refugee disaster had led a sharp anti-migration policy. The consequence was that the party was almost halved, and when the electorate nevertheless listened to xenophobia, they moved even further on the right wing. The same trend could be recorded across Europe. When the Social Democracy was right-radicalized, it lost its core voters, and at the same time the radical right wing was strengthened. In September 2015, Prime Minister Fico EU commented on the Commission's proposal for the distribution of refugees in Europe following a quota system: "As long as I am Prime Minister, no compulsory quota system will be introduced in Slovakia". And then the Social Democrat became increasingly skeptical in his anti-Muslim rhetoric: "There are thousands of terrorists and and IS fighters entering Europe with the migrants"; "We monitor every single Muslim in Slovakia"; and in May 2016, he declared that Slovakia would not allow a single Muslim entry. On the issue of refugees and immigrants, there was no longer a difference between social democracy and the extreme right wing.
The neo-fascist L 'SNS organized demonstrations against Roma and refugees in January, March, June, July and October 2016.

In February 2018, 27-year-old freelance journalist Ján Kuciak and his girlfriend Martina Kušnírová were shot and killed in the city of Vel'ka Mača outside Bratislava. Kuciak was investigating corruption that linked the government to businessmen and the Italian mafia. The killings initially cost the Interior Minister his post, but by mid-March the scale of national and international protests was so great that Prime Minister Robert Fico was also forced to leave his post. But that did not slow down the protests. In mid-March, the Movement «For a proper Slovakia» conducted demonstrations in 34 Slovakian cities and 25 cities abroad demanding new elections. Alone in Bratislava participated approx. 50,000 in the demonstration.

 

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