Ivan Petranský, director of the Nation's Memory Institute (ÚPN), said at a press conference on April 28 that HZDS chairman Vladimír Mečiar had informed him two weeks ago of the coalition's intention to abolish the institute.
"Mečiar talked to me approximately two weeks ago," Petranský said. "He asked me to come and see him at his party's central office. He said that the meeting would be about the abolition of ÚPN. I refused to come due to the subject and the venue for the meeting. Mečiar then phoned me and said that the abolition of ÚPN would be approved by legislation."
The Slovak National Party (SNS) has submitted a proposal to dissolve the Institute by the end of this year, arguing that it hasn't been fulfilling its mandate for some time now.
"I totally disagree with this accusation. The Institute's activities are stated in the annual report that will be presented to Parliament the day after tomorrow," Petranský said.
He also pointed out that there was a proposal for an amendment to the Act on Anti-Communist Resistance before Parliament that delegates further tasks to the ÚPN, and that this means that the abolition of the Institute isn't in line with any existing concept.
"I'm not going to speculate on the real causes of this proposal," Petranský said. "It's obvious, however, that the ÚPN still represents a threat to many people and their personal success if they have in any way collaborated with the Communist regime. Now, at a time when the documents can be studied and processed comprehensively, abolishing the institute would slow down or possibly even halt the process of dealing with the totalitarian period."
Petranský added that he had asked Prime Minister Robert Fico on April 28 for an extraordinary meeting. No date for a meeting has yet been announced.
Petranský considers the plan to transfer ÚPN documents to the National Security Office (NBÚ) to be absurd. There is no link between NBÚ and dealing with the totalitarian past, which is the "ÚPN's basic task".
The SNS MPs aim to abolish the ÚPN due to personal reasons, opposition KDH chairman Pavol Hrušovský said on April 28.
[It has been alleged that Slovak National Party (SNS) chairman Ján Slota wants to do away with ÚPN following revelations that, according to communist secret service (ŠtB) files, he secretly crossed the border between the former Czechoslovakia and Austria with some friends as a young man before being caught trying to slip back into the country again a few days later. The SNS chairman was also caught shoplifting in his youth. - ed. note].
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
29. Apr 2008 at 7:00