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Gathering at Tiso's grave without incident

THERE was no trouble at a gathering to commemorate the 66th founding of the first Slovak Republic on March 14, 1939. The commemoration meeting was held at wartime leader Jozef Tiso’s symbolic grave at the Martinský cemetery in Bratislava on March 13, the TASR news agency reported.

The first Slovak state came about when the first Czechoslovak Republic broke up following the 1938 Munich Agreement. Slovakia became a clerical state dependent on Nazi Germany.

After Tiso’s grave the gathering moved on to Hodžovo square in front of the Presidential Palace.

The event was organized by the fringe political movement, Slovenská pospolitosť- národná strana - the Slovak Unity-National Party(SP-NS). The party’s representatives were not willing to talk with journalists.

In their so-called manifesto, SP-NS launched sharp verbal attacks against minorities such as the Roma and Jews. The party says that the “inadaptable" should be forced to work. SP-NS leader Marian Kotleba said the organization would not seek election to parliament; nor would they support the Slovak National Party led by Ján Slota, which it says is full of "traitors".

About 60 of the 200 people gathered at Father Tiso’s grave were dressed in black fascist-like uniforms. Most of them were skinheads. Also present were some senior citizens who remember the first Slovak Republic. Police, including mounted police, monitored the event.

According to police spokesperson Silvia Miháliková, the event was announced ahead of time and police were instructed to intervene only if there was trouble.

Compiled by Marta Ďurianová from press reports
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