NEWS BRIEFS

Mečiar attempts a rebirth on private VTV station

After a few months out of the public eye, HZDS chairman Vladimír Mečiar appeared on the small private station VTV on September 11 and called for "civil unrest and disobedience" among those Slovaks who would like to see a change in parliament.

Mečiar expressed his desire to have his party organise the protests, with the hope of bringing about parliamentary elections in June of next year. He said he believed the protests should begin as soon as possible, and added that he did not believe the unrest would threaten Slovakia's chances of getting into the first group of countries applying for membership in the European Union. The HZDS will begin intensive work in October to transform itself from a movement into a classic political party, most probably a "people's party," he added.

One-time Interior Minister and HZDS MP Gustáv Krajči told a press conference that the Slovak police are already buying water cannons to fight the protests. Current Interior Minister Ladislav Pittner responded ironically that if he finds any money left over after Krajči's tenure at the ministry, he will indeed buy water cannons.

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