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Country celebrates fall of communism

EVENTS celebrating the 15th anniversary since the fall of communism were organised yesterday across the country, but attracted few people to the squares and streets, according to the daily SME.

Students in Bratislava, however, took the opportunity to protest the planned school reform and tuition fees for university education, SME wrote. The Education Minister Martin Fronc reacted to the students' demonstration by accusing them of an immoral misuse of the November 17 anniversary.

According to the participants in the events of November 17, 1989, the most important outcome of the so-called Velvet Revolution is the freedom that Slovakia has gained. However, they admitted that many of the revolution's actors had not been ready for the major changes that came with the fall of communism.

"We were not prepared politically, but mentally we were, somehow" said Peter Zajac, literary critic, who was active in 1989 and later joined politics.

Although many of the former direct participants in the revolution are critical about the political situation in Slovakia 15 years later, they insist that the freedom gained still remains the biggest positive aspect of the Velvet Revolution.

"I can do what I like. It's great," said László Szigeti.

According to yet another participant of the 1989 revolution, former MP Peter Tatár, although the Slovak people may be dissatisfied with some aspects of their lives "in principle they are not unhappy".

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports
The
Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
presented in its Flash News postings.

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