Nationalist leader Ján Slota came under repeated fire this past spring, first for a loan guarantee he issued while mayor of Žilina that is now threatening to bankrupt the town, and then for having a junior colleague in his Slovak National Party (SNS) fake his signature on parliamentary attendance sheets, allowing Slota to collect his MP’s salary without actually attending legislative sessions.
Slota’s past under the Communist regime also came under scrutiny after it was reported that he had crossed the border into Austria illegally as a teenager, and that with a Slovak accomplice he had stolen goods from a fabric store near Prievidza in Western Slovakia.
Unlike in the past, however, the incidents seemed to damage Slota’s Teflon image, which among his nationalist voters has proven impervious to his displays of public drunkenness and intolerance against Hungarians and Roma. In a May poll, his approval rating among Slovaks plunged to 8.6% from 13.5% the month before, costing him his position as the third-most trusted Slovak politician to opposition MP Iveta Radičová of the SDKÚ (9.1%).
23. Jun 2008 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports