IN SHORT

Slota rejects extremism, then stalks off TV show

JÁN SLOTA, the temperamental leader of the far-right Slovak National Party, lost his cool in the middle of a live TV talk-show on October 10 and stalked out, leaving host Daniel Krajcer and the other guest of the show, former Justice Minister Daniel Lipšic, to complete the debate on their own.

Slota managed to remain calm during the initial topic on the De Facto talk show, relations between Hungary and Slovakia, but when the discussion turned to the need to retain the Special Court for organized crime cases, Slota suddenly stood up.

"I don't have to listen to this," he said, and walked off the set 15 minutes before the show on JOJ TV was due to end.

At the moment of Slota's outburst, Lipšic had been defending the Special Court, which Slota and other members of the ruling coalition want to abolish.

"I don't have the strength left to say anything, I'll leave the rest to him," Slota said.

Slota had threatened to leave repeatedly during the show, and said it was only with gritted teeth that he had agreed to appear with Lipšic, whose tenure as minister from 2002 to 2006 "I think only the worst of".

When Lipšic reminded Slota of his comments that the residents of Teplička, who were resisting the expropriation of their land for the construction of the KIA car factory, could "go stick their carrots somewhere", Slota said that Lipšic did not understand the matter.

"Don't be a clown," the nationalist leader said, accusing Lipšic of misunderstanding events "in that mixed up head of yours".

Before the TV talk-show, however, Slota had made a public statement claiming the SNS rejected extremism and supported the rights of minorities. The statement was part of an effort to help PM Robert Fico's Smer party avoid suspension by the Party of European Socialists for cooperating with the SNS.

"The SNS respects the different cultural-historical traditions of nations, and recognizes... the principles of tolerance, respect, humanism, and the rejection of discrimination, nationalism, racism and xenophobia," the SNS statement read.

"We strenuously reject all expressions of racial, ethnic or national hatred anywhere in Europe... we condemn the activities of extremist groups and individuals, who under the banner of nationality discharge their deviant violent tendencies on members of minorities living in Slovakia. We categorically distance ourselves from any form of verbal attacks on the honour and dignity of Slovaks who belong to some minority."

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