Press digest

Who has won power in our country?

"Our republic very closely resembles an overripe apple. Wherever you bite, you have to be careful you don't get a mouthful of worm or of rotten fruit. Corruption, theft, intimidation, extortion, despotic state officials - these are only fragments of the rich mosaic of our everyday life. And what's worse, we're gradually getting used to it, until we take it as some kind of unpleasant necessity...Certainly, every country has its own scoundrels in high positions. But Slovakia is one of the few countries where no steps are taken against these people. In the neighbouring Czech Republic, one also can't complain about the lack of different 'affairs' and financial scandals, but there, big heads roll over these events. In Slovakia, unimportant ministry officials are blamed, and even then only in the worst cases - the truly guilty stay in their jobs and keep their fat bank accounts...So how did we get where we are? In a deep moral and economic crisis where billions of crowns are being shamelessly stolen, where every day new multi-millionaires are made and where citizens who regularly pay their health insurance can't get essential drugs because the health care system doesn't have enough money?...The tragedy is that these [corrupt] people form the economic elite, and that they have captured the most important positions in the political and state apparatus. Can we be surprised then that our society has become like a rotten apple?"
Miloš Luknár, Plus 7 Dni, September 14.

HZDS up to speed, SDK losing steam

"Mečiar's triumphant pre-election path, which shows what has been created and which opens new highway network projects in Slovakia, has taken the opposition by surprise...Even disinterested observers are sure that Dzurinda's dream of a successful TV debate, where he speaks as a hero of the post-Mečiar era, has totally evaporated. On the contrary, it can be seen that the possible involvement of the SDK in a new government would only deepen the political crisis...We can again say that in this year's elections, emotions are more important than political programs and aims...Anti-Mečiarism cannot be considered a program, and the chance that someone else will take over the Premier's post is an illusion. The fact that Mečiar is scoring points with voters has been proven by the latest MVK poll, which shows the rising preference for the HZDS."
František Raslavský, Slovenská Republika, September 12

Campaign in Rezeš's style

The style of HZDS election campaign leader [Alexander Rezeš - former vice-president of VSŽ steel mill] is becoming more evident. Only a Slovak businessman who didn't hesitate to buy Sparta Praha [Czech football team] for one billion Slovak crowns ($28.6 million) can afford a presence of a top star of world show-business at the opening of one highway section. The salary Claudia Schiffer requested is, they say, a seven-digit number, but as we know, the well-known model made only a stop-by in Slovakia...What is interesting, and what most observers have not noticed, is a contradiction of this campaign with Christian and national ideology of the movement [HZDS]. Schiffer herself is a symbol of 'global consumerism,' 'spiritual roots-losing,' 'modern neo-paganism,' of Western Europe. However, these are the phenomena that the top HZDS representatives have always wanted to save Slovakia from...
Vladimír Jancura, Pravda, September 12

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