YOU could almost hear the sigh of relief. Children all across the country took to the streets to celebrate the fact that their families will now finally be protected by the constitution. Replacing the words “Marriage, parenthood and the family are protected by the law” with the phrase “Marriage is a unique union between a man and a woman. The Slovak Republic protects and supports marriage in all aspects” seems like an incredibly small step for broken families, neglected children, or single moms, but judging by the ecstatic reactions of local conservatives, it is a giant leap for traditional values.

The amendment is part of a deal between Christian Democrats and the ruling Smer, in which the former get their two sentences and the latter get to do security checks to all judges in the country. It is hard to imagine what could help the dysfunctional judiciary more than being in the hands of the National Security Bureau (NBÚ), known for using the password “nbusr123” to protect its servers, illegally handing out security clearances to former communist agents and for the fact that its boss tried to cover up the Gorilla scandal.

Prime Minister Robert Fico recently said there is no place for foreign troops in Slovakia because the country went through the trauma of the 1968 invasion. But it seems we don’t even need the Soviet presence to endorse Soviet values – state meddling into private affairs, purges led by the intelligence services, an obedient judiciary and a fear of NATO forces seem to be very much in fashion. Only this time it’s our compatriots who are attempting to occupy the country.