IN RESPONSE to criticism from European MPs, Slovak National Party (SNS) MP Rafael Rafaj gave a short interview to The Slovak Spectator on July 12.
The Slovak Spectator (TSS): What is your reaction to the fears many European politicians have expressed about the SNS's presence in the new Slovak government?
Rafael Rafaj (RR): It is essential for the SNS that no EU government has expressed such concerns, just some members of the European Parliament and their factions. We had expected these 'democrats' to give us the standard 100 days to introduce our policies. In addition, the SNS has also been defended by its counterparts in the EP. On July 11, the Union for Europe of the Nations rejected the attacks against the SNS, with the group's co-president, Christiana Muscardini, calling them "offensive and deliberate". It also rejected the whole notion of decision-making by a narrow elite circle, biased commentaries and political rivals in connection with doubts raised against the SNS.
TSS: Does the SNS consider itself a nationalist party?
RR: Among the main values cherished by the SNS are patriotism, freedom, national unity, responsibility, sovereignty, protection, self-sufficiency, principal policies, truth, national pride, identity, specific criticism and regional solidarity. We, therefore, strongly protest biased vilification. Nationalist parties are based on an ethnic principle that is meant to either unsettle the post-war status quo or try to achieve ethnic separatism. The SNS is a legitimate, standard patriotic conservative party that, paradoxically, protects the rights of Slovaks [on their own territory].
TSS: Is there a reason to fear the SNS's stance on minority rights?
RR: I object to that. In Slovakia, the politicians representing the Hungarian minority have never been satisfied with the state of their rights and never will be because their real goal is to use their agenda to achieve ethnic separatism and recreate a Great Hungary. On the other hand, the SNS appreciates the fact that other minorities are uncontentious and loyal towards Slovakia. The SNS respects the Slovak Constitution and international charters, but it also expects others to respect clause 34 of the Slovak Constitution, which states the exercise of minority rights must not be to the detriment of the majority. It is a tragedy of Slovak politics that, in 1998, assuming power [from the previous Vladimír Mečiar government] had to be done by joining with ethnic separatists [suggesting the Hungarian Coalition Party SMK, ed. note]. I can assure democratically-minded people the SNS's third time in government since 1990 will be a contribution to Slovakia's civil, national and political cohesion.
17. Jul 2006 at 0:00 | Martina Jurinová