The attendance of Prime Minister Robert Fico and President Ivan Gašparovič at the ceremonial opening of a newly diverted section of the Nitra River in the village of Opatovce nad Nitrou (Trenčín Region) on Tuesday, March 24, was marked by a one-man protest alleging a violation of democracy in Slovakia.
Fico labelled the man, who held aloft a home-made banner, a supporter of joint opposition candidate Iveta Radičová. Radičová will face Gašparovič, who is supported by Fico’s Smer party, in the second round of the presidential elections.
“Ladies and gentlemen, let me welcome you all, including Mrs. Radičová’s activists, to this meeting. This is a rather awkward drama that they've prepared for us, but we’re used to worse things...,” said Fico at the beginning of his briefing.
He and Gašparovič poured the first buckets of water into a new section of river bed, which was dug out to make way for a prepared extension of a mine belonging to Upper-Nitra Mines Prievidza (Trenčín Region).
The protester displayed his banner for a while, then left without speaking to journalists.
Gašparovič commented that if there were not any democracy in Slovakia, the man would not have been allowed to protest. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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