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BY MARIÁN LEŠKO

"With the courage of the oblivious"

HZDS Deputy Chairman Milan Urbáni has an enviable gift: the ability to speak on a sensitive topic with the courage of the oblivious. In an interview published in Sme last week he even said things the coalition has so far kept quiet.

HZDS Deputy Chairman Milan Urbáni has an enviable gift: the ability to speak on a sensitive topic with the courage of the oblivious. In an interview published in Sme last week he even said things the coalition has so far kept quiet.

Three weeks ago a paid article by the HZDS was circulated among the news agencies that the election of Radim Hreha as STV director was a success for the Smer party "and personally for its leader", and that the HZDS would continue to follow the actions and relationships "that follow from the election of the STV director". The Smer chairman responded promptly with an article of his own - the party allegedly had nothing to do with Hreha's election.

Following the publication of the Urbáni interview on January 8, for three days no one from the coalition reacted, save for the STV Council, which was actually responding to what Urbáni had said about the agreement between the coalition parties: "it was agreed that the political parties in the coalition would have influence over some activities within STV, and would take responsibility for them." Urbáni openly acknowledged that the HZDS wanted "to have the news department", and that their candidate would ensure that STV "covers the news as a public station should". Deputy Chairman Urbáni also revealed why the HZDS had protested in the coalition in December: "we protested because we had clearly agreed that when the new STV director was elected, we would again sit down and put names forward."

Unlike Smer Vice-Chairman Robert Kaliňák, who says that the coalition has no agreement on who will fill what posts at STV, Urbáni says that such an agreement exists, although - with the exception of the HZDS - it is being ignored. For a coalition party functionary to admit that the coalition has made political agreements which violate the constitution and the country's laws, and for him to say this without batting an eye, he has to have certain qualities. Urbáni has them, because he still has no idea just what he confessed to on behalf of the coalition. His words do not trouble his party chairman, Vladimír Mečiar, because they put pressure on the prime minister. What probably bothers the HZDS boss more is Urbáni's statement that "Mečiar was stupid, and today he knows that himself". That's not something one says of one's chairman, because only he knows what only he knows today.


- Sme, January 12

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