Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

BY ROBERT KOTIAN

Not the best beginning

The first president of Czechoslovakia, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, said more than once that states are held together by the ideas on which they were founded. Czechoslovakia and its offspring have often demonstrated the truth of this observation.

The first president of Czechoslovakia, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, said more than once that states are held together by the ideas on which they were founded. Czechoslovakia and its offspring have often demonstrated the truth of this observation.

The first round of elections for the director of the Nation's Memory Institute on January 30 ended in farce, as the vote was declared invalid when 144 MPs returned 145 ballots. On the second attempt, despite apparent objections by Deputy PM Dušan Čaplovič to the candidate of the far-right SNS, Ivan Petranský, ruling coalition MPs voted dutifully together after a reminder from the SNS that each party should be allowed to choose its own candidates under the divide-the-spoils system the government has chosen.

The Act on the Nation's Memory Institute says that its role is to "publish the secret activities of the organs of repression during the totalitarian period from 1939-1989, and to assign responsibility for the murders, enslavement, theft, and insults, as well as the moral and economic degradation caused by state crimes and terror campaigns against people who held different opinions".

That should be clear enough, but there is just as clearly a gap between what those statutes say, and what happened this week. The election of Ivan Petranský, despite the news that he had attended a celebration of the wartime fascist state in 2005 that was also attended by neo-Nazi leader Marián Kotleba, is not a good beginning.


Hospodárske Noviny, February 1

Top stories

End of investigative show a cause for concern

Media freedom watchdogs believe the scrapping of the only investigative show on public-service television is a threat to its independence.

Jaroslav Rezník

Proxy for Roma criticises minister Kaliňák for ethnical and group discrimination

The government proxy slammed Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák for the draft law on repressing criminality in Roma settlements, for populist discrimination and preferring repression to prevention.

Roma communities, illustrative stock photo

Slovak racer Svitko finished at Dakar Video

After a serious fall in the tenth leg, Slovak motorcyclist Štefan Svitko resigned from the 40th year of the Dakar Rally due to pain in his upper body.

Štefan Svitko

Carmakers in Slovakia produced more than one million cars last year

2018 will be critical for Slovakia’s automotive industry, claim sector’s representatives.

Most cars produced in Slovakia head for export.