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Gašparovič delivers New Year's address

THE YEAR ahead is one of significant expectations, in which parliamentary as well as municipal elections will take place in Slovakia, said President Ivan Gašparovič in his New Year’s address, the SITA news agency reported.

Tension prevails in Slovakia, with great wealth and poverty, political conflicts, ethnic tensions, and a battle between the Church and those who fight against its allegedly privileged position, the president said.

Political turbulence is a daily reality in the country, and politicians often waste time and energy on playing harmful political or intelligence games, stated the president.

Gašparovič said that last year did not bring a change of political culture. Rather the opposite was true: political morals seem to have become even laxer. The closer the country gets to parliamentary elections, the worse it gets.

Political parties probably forgot about their pre-election promises a long time ago, said Gašparovič. "What else could there be but a decay of parliamentary democracy, when adopted laws and measures, influencing the life of hundreds of thousands of people in Slovakia, depend on a will of independent deputies who do not represent anyone and thus are responsible to nobody," stated the president. He sees it a serious problem, which will have to be settled by constitutional changes.

The president feels there is a general decay in the moral and cultural level of society, pointing to a violation of rights by the secret recording of conversations, the questioning of trade union rights, and bribery.

Gašparovič reminded citizens of the fact that they will decide on the shape of Slovak policy in the next four years in this year's elections.

"I wish that political parties and everyone engaged in the preparation of elections pays sufficient attention to citizens and solving their problems. Otherwise, we may witness a situation similar to the regional elections, which were an evident failure of politicians and their politics," added the president.

Compiled by Marta Ďurianová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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