The Štúrovo Town Council has prepared a referendum for April 19, 1998. The citizens of the town will have to answer the famous four questions from the invalidated national referendum which took place in May last year. Because the date set for this provocative action is approaching inexorably, it is imperative - as Slovak folkwisdom puts it - to pour clear wine [ie. to clarify the situation].
The time for idle discussion and legal wrangling is over! The truth is different! [The referendum] absolutely is not a question of a moral quest or a test of democracy in the Slovak Republic. It is a deliberate and long-planned move by irredentist magyars [Hungarians who call for a revival of Greater Hungary] aimed against the territorial integrity of the Slovak Republic. Its goal is to conduct a test of the strength of their chances, and to try the patience and the good will of our state bodies. If this action goes unpunished, nothing will remain in the way of southern Slovakia's beginning in the near future to call for a referendum on one question. And everyone can guess what that question would contain.
And that must not be! The Štúrovo "referendum" must be prevented [through the use of] all possible means. That is why we:
Call on the government of the Slovak Republic, at its session today, to give the highest priority to the existing situation and to take decisive measures.
Call on Vladimír Mečiar, the head of the government, to call a meeting of the State Defence Council without delay.
Call on Interior Minister Gustav Krajči to mobilize the appropriate bodies of the police corps.
Call on Minister of Defence Ján Sitek to give the order to put the Army on a high state of alert.
Call on all deputies from the National Council of the Slovak Republic [Parliament] and all politicians from non-parliamentary parties, without regard to whether they support the government or the opposition, to put aside their party affiliations for the moment and to display their civic courage and bravery and love of their Slovak homeland in the name of a blessed goal - the preservation of Slovak state loyalties.
Call on journalists of all media, without regard to whether our ideas are in conflict or not, to realize the seriousness of the situation, and if the fate of their Slovak homeland matters to them even a little, to show due deliberation and moderation in what they publish.
If we don't appeal to the National Council of the Slovak Republic, it is only because there is no longer enough time for a drawn-out protocol process or a possibly misleading discussion.
We propose that all of these measures be carried out without regard for reactions or voices from abroad. This is our house, and we know its nooks and crannies the best. If one of these nooks becomes damp, we have to take action if we want to prevent a cancerous mould from destroying the whole building.
The Slovak Republic is our country! We have whispered it in our prayers and have sung songs to achieve it. If necessary, we can stand up for it in other ways as well.
Note: Slovenská Republika has a daily readership of 30,000.
23. Apr 1998 at 0:00 | the joint editorial staff of Slovenská Republika