The Slovak branch of the Association of European Journalists (AEJ) has released a statement in response to Prime Minister Robert Fico’s comments on October 29, in which called journalists from the country’s major dailies “idiots” for their allegedly biased coverage of several current events.
"Politicians in democratic countries, especially those in ruling positions, are exposed to the pressure of their responsibility for governing, as well as pressure from the opposition and the media, who scrutinize their steps and behaviour," the statement reads.
The AEJ acknowledges that this can be unpleasant and that critics may often be mistaken, "but nothing authorises a politician holding a post of responsibility to react in an oafish, rough and aggressive manner."
There should always be dialogue and fierce debate, but in a civilised manner, the statement reads.
The AEJ statement also expressed the opinion that Fico means to divert attention from the global financial crisis, which is having an effect in Slovakia.
"Unhappy is the politician who constantly needs to create enemies against whom he can demonstrate his trumped-up courage and greatness," AEJ secretary Tibor Macak said. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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