Prime Minister Robert Fico described journalists from the country’s major dailies as “idiots” because of how they have reported his official visit to Vietnam, the reconstruction of the government's offices, the Belarussian Embassy and the financial crisis.
"You're attacking the government in a foolish, idiotic way,” he declared. “Lies, lies and more lies. I'm asking you for at least a bit of accuracy towards this government. The Communist press used to be more tolerant towards dissidents than you are to the democratic government of Slovakia."
Only an idiot would publish a front page that shows hundreds of people are losing their jobs (because of the crisis), followed by a headline that reads: “Fico is chasing a billion-crown-deal for J&T,” he said.
In that instance, he was speaking about the Pravda daily. As far as his trip to Vietnam, he explained that he went on behalf of Slovak company SES Tlmače, which is looking to supply boilers to a Vietnamese thermal plant. Any prime minister would work hard to achieve a deal that could secure jobs for 2,200 people for 10 years, he said.
"And then an idiot writes that I'm doing a deal for J&T, when I am supporting large orders for large Slovak companies," he noted. SES Tlmače is controlled by the J&T real estate developer.
Fico continued by railing against a journalist from Nový čas who wrote that the prime minister went to Vietnam to look for workers without paying attention to the 10-percent unemployment rate at home. Fico noted that he did welcome the idea of Vietnamese workers during his visit, but only if they had the same conditions and terms as Slovaks.
About the reconstruction the government is doing on its buildings, the prime minister said: "Only an idiot from the Sme daily can write that we've had an underground tunnel reconstructed for Sk30 million (€996,000) that is air-conditioned. Go and have a look."
Fico said he is considering taking legal action. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
30. Oct 2008 at 7:00