Fotos fan new Slovak-Hungarian tensions

IMAGES published yesterday of Hungarian football fans in Budapest holding banners with anti-Slovak slogans again raised questions as to whether the presence of far-right nationalists in the Slovak government is contributing to new tensions between the two neighbouring countries.

The banners, reading “Fuck Slovakia” and “Slovaks, you will always remain our slaves”, received wide play in the Slovak media, which have reported several such incidents on both sides of the border since the Slovak National Party (SNS) led by Ján Slota formed part of the Slovak coalition government after June general elections.

Another banner displayed in the Budapest images read “Slota must die”.

While ethnic Hungarian politicians in Slovakia have reported an increase in tensions with the Slovak majority since the elections, some members of the Robert Fico government have tried to calm the waters.

PM Fico, accompanied by Foreign Minister Ján Kubiš, attended a reception at the Hungarian embassy in Bratislava on the occasion of a Hungarian state holiday last Friday, while Dušan Čaplovič, the Slovak deputy PM for minorities, called on politicians to “heal, not irritate” relations between the countries.

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