Slovakia commemorates the adoption of its modern constitution with a public holiday today, September 1. On this day in 1992, the parliament of Slovakia – then part of federal Czecho-Slovakia – voted to adopt a national constitution. It was ceremonially signed on September 3, 1992, at Bratislava Castle by the then speaker of parliament Ivan Gašparovič – the current president – and the then prime minister Vladimír Mečiar. Slovakia came into being as an independent country on January 1, 1993.
The Slovak Government Office celebrated the state holiday by opening up its premises to members of the public.
The leader of the Smer opposition party, Robert Fico, used the occasion to lay flowers at a statue of Svätopluk in the courtyard of Bratislava Castle. Svätopluk was a ninth-century leader of Moravia about whom relatively little is known but who has been adopted by Slovak nationalists since the eighteenth century as a symbol of the Slovak nation. Fico said that when he was prime minister (in 2006-2010) the government had “tried to fill the white spaces in Slovak history”, and added that he was proud of the Svätopluk statue, which his government initiated, and said that it had since become “a site of pilgrimage”.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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1. Sep 2011 at 14:00