President Gašparovič says Slovakia will face difficult times ahead

President Ivan Gašparovič told the nation in his traditional New Year’s address that a difficult period is coming for Slovaks but that they are able to manage it, adding that politicians cannot put all the burden on the shoulders of people and “that people cannot be endlessly tightening their belts”, the TASR newswire reported.

President Ivan Gašparovič told the nation in his traditional New Year’s address that a difficult period is coming for Slovaks but that they are able to manage it, adding that politicians cannot put all the burden on the shoulders of people and “that people cannot be endlessly tightening their belts”, the TASR newswire reported.

“As well, we can’t expect that citizens will not be defending their social and legal rights,” stated Gašparovič, as quoted by TASR, noting that these rights are certainties which are becoming scarce and more and more difficult to achieve.

“I do not doubt that many of you are asking at the moment how it is possible that this situation [in Slovak politics] has gone so far,” Gašparovič continued. “In my opinion, we should be looking for the answer in the activities of those politicians who have abandoned the citizens.”

The Slovak president added that politicians have been paying more attention to quarrels and insults than to people’s problems and that he understands why many people lose their trust in politicians as well as the political system. He called on the politicians to care more about society and not only about promoting themselves.

Gašparovič appealed to the people of Slovakia to vote for politicians whose mission will be to actually serve them.

“It depends on you, to whom you give the responsibility for the management of your state,” he stated, as quoted by TASR.

The Sme daily reported that the president believes that the fall of the government was partly caused by inexperienced politicians.

“People without basic knowledge about the functioning of the system of domestic and foreign policy became ministers,” the president stated, as quoted by Sme.

Gašparovič stressed that Slovaks themselves have to be active in order to prosper economically and culturally and secure jobs, TASR wrote.

“We here at home have to decide on our own what we have to do today and what will bring us benefits in the future,” stated Gašparovič, as quoted by TASR, noting that people cannot wait for somebody to offer them jobs.

A political analyst said Gašparovič’s traditional New Year’s speech would be surprising only if the president said something particularly meaningful.

“I found the speech full of phrases,” said political scientist Miroslav Kusý, as quoted by TASR.

Source: TASR, Sme

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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