Several hundred people gathered in front of the Slovak National Theatre on Hviezdoslavovo Square on the evening of Tuesday, November 17 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, which toppled the communist regime in Czechoslovakia. Many of them lit candles in front of the new monument called the Heart of Europe, a heart made of barbed wire, which symbolizes victims of the communist regime, the SITA newswire reported.
The leader of the major opposition party, Mikuláš Dzurinda, told SITA that citizens should commemorate those people who were killed, imprisoned and persecuted under the communist regime. He indirectly reacted to the statement of Prime Minister Robert Fico in London who said that the then-revolutionary leaders in November 1989 were driven also by ulterior motives. Dzurinda called on citizens not to pay attention to such words as he considers them to be an attempt to divert attention from the heart of the matter.
Dzurinda explained why the opposition did not celebrate the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution with the ruling coalition MPs. In his opinion, it would be similar to fascists organizing celebrations of the anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising, indicating that the current Prime Minister was a member of the Communist Party at that time.
In reaction to the statements of Prime Minister, who claims that he had not noticed the events in November 1989, the leader of another opposition party, SMK’s Pál Csáky, said that if there had been no Velvet Revolution twenty years ago, the Prime Minister of the Slovak government in 2009 would have probably been "a young, hard-working communist, whose name would have been Robert Fico". SITA
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
18. Nov 2009 at 14:00