Around 40 young men, members and sympathisers of the right-wing Slovenská Pospolitosť (Slovak Togetherness) organisation gathered on Saturday, August 22 in the town of Krompachy in Košice region to protest against what they call ‘Roma criminality’, the TASR newswire wrote.
The police watched the demonstrators as early as at the local railway station, while police patrols were also deployed at the entrances to the town. According the spokesperson for the Kosice regional police directorate, Jana Mesarova, the police had sufficient means available, including a water cannon and a bus full of police officers, to intervene if necessary.
The vice-mayor of Krompachy, Imrich Holečko, told TASR that the organisers of the demonstration did not officially announce the gathering. A Pospolitosť activist from Nitra said in his speech that the current government has failed to deal with the Roma problem, describing the cabinet as "racist, fascist and incompetent".
One local resident called for the government to begin to do something about Roma criminality and to stop criminalising decent people (an allusion to past police measures against Slovenská Pospolitosť).
“We have more serious problems than the statue of (Hungarian King) St. Stephen in Komárno,” pointing to what the local said was a ‘scourge of Roma criminality’ in his hometown.
Slovenská Pospolitosť was also collecting signatures in support of registration of a new political party. It promised to summon another gathering in two weeks. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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24. Aug 2009 at 14:00