Press Digest

Time solves everything

"Vice-premier Katarína Tóthová is outraged with the situation in politics. We have the SDK party, but in the meantime, we also have the five parties which formed this coalition party. Tóthová counts and counts, but cannot come up with a final number either of parties that got into Parliament following the last elections, or of how many of these will form the government. It could be up to ten, and not just four, as the opposition puts it. Then it's just a small step from this statement to criticising the new election law by saying 'Slovaks, listen up: the law did not fulfil its mission because it did not reduce the number of political parties in the Parliament. There are more, in fact, than it seems.' Does Mrs. Tóthová realise that her criticism is actually self-criticism? The law was proposed mostly by [Tóthová's fellow] HZDS deputies, led by their legal expert Ján Cuper. The government, in which Tóthová herself deals with legislation, approved the proposal with only one minor objection."
Vladimír Jancura, Pravda daily, October 9.

It started with hate and goes on with lies

"Maybe we don't realise it, but we have gone through a small miracle. Slovakia, a tiny state, was able to formulate a policy of defending its national interests (so the program-underfed mega-opposition had to lie from the very begining). It is easy to imagine what it will be like under a government of a wide-spectrum coalition. Finance Minister Miroslav Maxon grasped it pretty well. If today some politicians, who probably will create the new government, say that Slovakia is in a catastrophic situation, they are lying through their teeth. In August 1998, industrial production increased year on year by 12%. Expenditures in the social sector, health care and education have been increasing permanently since 1994. The inflation rate's development has been satisfactory. GDP grew by 6% every year (so there was no reason for the cancellation of the fluctuation band by the National Bank of Slovakia). The de facto devaluation is not part of the former government's bill. Actually, it is a bill for the 1998 elections. Taking into account the global financial crisis, the cancellation of the fluctuation band wasn't a good move by the NBS. It will be citizens who will pay for that. So, we can only ask what will remain of the opposition's promises after several months."
Stanislav Tománek, Slovenská Republika daily, October 10

What's next, Mr. STV Director General?

"It seems that Igor Kubiš [STV' Director General] knows real public TV and its viewers only through the 'black button' of his TV set in the secretary's office of one movement [HZDS], or through the shiny handle of his company limousine. So far, he hasn't shown the public any kind of new vision of STV. That's why his ideas about the black future, normalization and destruction of this institution are just tools he is using to threaten his employees and hide his moral and legal responsibility for the current state of STV. However, his mistake is that he, as the captain of a drowning ship, is convinced of infallibility of its main (de)constructor. So, what's next, Mr. STV Director General?"
Martin Šmatlák, Vice-Rector of the Musical Art University in Bratislava, SME daily, October 14.

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