EVERYTHING bad is good for something, says a Slovak proverb. It is almost impossible to find anything positive about the tragedy in Norway. But it did give Slovakia a chance to learn something about itself.
First, Slovakia came out on top on Anders Breivik’s list of countries “least brainwashed with multiculturalist propaganda”. Given the fact Breivik is a lunatic who got his results by browsing Facebook, the 90-out-of-100 score on his personal psycho-scale is probably not particularly accurate. But still, the thought of even a random lunatic adoring us as the least tolerant country is a little disturbing.
Facebook was also behind another big discovery. Smer vice-chair Dušan Čaplovič shared with his friends that “while contemplating the tragedy in Norway” and the fact that “the terrorist and mass murderer, according to his electronic notes, was inspired by the nihilism of Czech president Václav Klaus,” he realised the responsibility that politicians have.
“Lucky thing Breivik didn’t know the views of Richard Sulík and other Slovak MPs. Watch out for them, the wind of violence and hatred blows from their side too,” Čaplovič also wrote.
An interesting observation coming from a man who just a year ago sat in government with the Slovak National Party (SNS), whose boss Ján Slota felt the Roma needed “a small courtyard and a long whip,” and prophesised that one day Slovaks will “get into tanks and bring down Budapest”.
Equally fascinating is Čaplovič’s choice of villains – Sulík apparently detests the Greek bailout and seems very passionate about the issue. But his liberal SaS party, hoping to decriminalise soft drugs and legalise gay partnerships, has so far shown few signs of intolerance or aggression.
It is true that there is no party in Slovakia which mentions “multiculturalism” in its manifesto. And yes, foreigners do have a hard time getting permanent residence and the country hardly ever grants asylum.
Yes, integrating the Roma minority seems to be an insoluble problem. And relations between Slovaks and Slovak Hungarians are not always rosy.
But of the two local parties that Breivik mentioned as like-minded and which not long ago formed the ruling coalition – the populist HZDS and the nationalist SNS – one is already gone from parliament and the other seems on its way out. That does not make Slovakia open to multi-kulti or immune to extremism. But at least the maniacs are no longer running the country.
8. Aug 2011 at 0:00 | Lukáš Fila