Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Lashing out against press, Mečiar fires both spokeswomen

Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar on December 3 canceled the government's regular press conferences, along with all other government press events, in an attempt to teach journalists a lesson.
"Due to the very low cultural level of some Slovak journalists and a low professional response in some media, I... am canceling press conferences following government sessions," read Mečiar's announcement, which was carried by TASR.
The next day, all major Slovak dailies except the pro-government Slovenská Republika denounced the ban as "disrespectful towards citizens," and "mindless revenge." Adding insult to injury, Magda Pospíšilová, Mečiar's spokeswoman, and Ľudmila Buláková, the government spokeswoman, were both put out of a job effective December 5. Both spokespersons refused to comment on their dismissals in any way.


No inhibitions. Having been dismissed, Magda Pospíšilová (shown with Pavol Kanis, a deputy for the opposition SDĽ) was free to kiss any opposition politician she wanted.
Peter Brenkus

Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar on December 3 canceled the government's regular press conferences, along with all other government press events, in an attempt to teach journalists a lesson.

"Due to the very low cultural level of some Slovak journalists and a low professional response in some media, I... am canceling press conferences following government sessions," read Mečiar's announcement, which was carried by TASR.

The next day, all major Slovak dailies except the pro-government Slovenská Republika denounced the ban as "disrespectful towards citizens," and "mindless revenge."

Adding insult to injury, Magda Pospíšilová, Mečiar's spokeswoman, and Ľudmila Buláková, the government spokeswoman, were both put out of a job effective December 5. Both spokespersons refused to comment on their dismissals in any way.

But journalists believe that Mečiar's moves were made in retaliation to the media's relentless questioning, at the latest press conference, of the status of Blažena Martinková, Mečiar's newly-appointed advisor. The media wanted to know who Martinková was and why she had been permitted to accompany Mečiar during a recent meeting with the Austrian Chancellor Victor Klima.

On December 6, Práca daily quoted a source close to the cabinet as saying that it was the way the spokeswomen had handled the Martinková issue at the press conference that had prompted their departure.

Under the pressure of persistent questions from journalists, Pospíšilová said Martinková was Mečiar's "advisor, we can say, for everything." Martinková did the job without being paid, she added.

Martinková is married to a former director of Devín Banka and a co-owner of Vadium Group company, which privatized 51 percent of Slovakia's most lucrative spa in Piešťany. Plump, blond and wide-eyed at Mečiar's side, Martinková has invited speculation among journalists and the opposition about a possible intimate relationship with the Slovak Prime Minister.

On December 4, during the official parliamentary "Question Hour", Democratic Union MP Roman Kováč asked Mečiar about Martinková again. Mečiar responded that she was his advisor for European integration issues, adding that her work in this respect was "more effective than that of all the coalition parties combined."

Unsatisfied with this response, opposition deputies repeated the question. Július Brocka, a Christian Democratic Movement MP, asked Mečiar whether he also had an advisor who would tell him what is polite and what is not.

At that, Mečiar exploded with rage. "Enough! You have no right to ask these questions! No right!," he yelled at Brocka. Then, raising his hands to his ears in imitation of a donkey, Mečiar told deputies, "You answer that for yourselves."

Top stories

Socialism elections were parody of free vote

After the revolution in 1989 the number of people participating in elections fell from 99 percent to around 60 percent.

Elections during socialism regime.

Foreigners: Top 10 events in Bratislava Video

Tips for the top 10 events in the capital between November 17 and November 26, plus regular services in different languages, training, temporary exhibitions and highlights of the year.

Lúčnica

Top 3 stories from Last Week in Slovakia Video

Chinese could produce e-cars in Slovakia - PM Robert Fico does not see election defeat - Poliačik leaves the strongest opposition party

PM Robert Fico

Ecocide! How Slovakia destroys its national parks

Officially, the number of forests in Slovakia keeps growing but satellite shots of the national parks evoke horrors.

logging at Muránska Planina