Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Velvet Revolution commemorated

IN 1989 unity was one of the characteristic feelings on the squares of Czech and Slovak towns during the Velvet Revolution. Two decades later, Slovak public and political life seems far from that ideal – as the celebrations of 20 years of freedom have shown.

IN 1989 unity was one of the characteristic feelings on the squares of Czech and Slovak towns during the Velvet Revolution. Two decades later, Slovak public and political life seems far from that ideal – as the celebrations of 20 years of freedom have shown.

The official event to commemorate the anniversary was held in the new building of the Slovak National Theatre and organised by the speaker of parliament, Pavol Paška. Speakers included leaders of the revolution such as former students Zuzana Mistríková and Filip Vagač, and former dissidents František Mikloško, Martin Bútora and Ján Čarnogurský. The speaker of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, also delivered a speech. Paška was criticised for having also invited speakers who were connected with the Communist regime, such as former president Rudolf Schuster and Communist Party justice minister and Slovak prime minister after November 1989 Milan Čič.

Six representatives of the Christian-Democratic Movement (KDH) who attended the celebrations walked out of the room before Čič and Schuster spoke. Opposition parties held a separate event in the historical building of the Slovak National Theatre.

Prime Minister Robert Fico spent part of November 17 on an official visit to London, where he also delivered a lecture at University College London. He was earlier criticised for leaving the country on such a day.

Many plaques were unveiled, concerts and commemorative events were organised all around Slovakia. In Bratislava, the 20th anniversary of the revolution was also marked by an international conference, the Central European Forum, where former president Václav Havel spoke to the Slovak public.


Top stories

Bratislava growing high Photo

High-rise buildings sprouting up in Bratislava

Visualisation of the future skyline of Bratislava

Crisis ends in Danko’s defeat

Education minister steps down following Fico’s call, Danko not ruling out he might leave politics.

Former education minister Peter Plavčan and PM Robert Fico on July 24.

First Slovak woman crossed the English Channel

Before her, only six Slovak men had managed to complete the difficult swim.

Have you ever climbed a via ferrata? Photo

In central Slovakia, there is one also suitable for beginners. Here are some of the views it offers.