Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

SLOVAK WORD OF THE WEEK

Gorila

SLOVAKIA is not the natural habitat of gorillas. But don’t be fooled by the code name Gorila (Gorilla) on the alleged spy-file: corruption is definitely nothing imported.

SLOVAKIA is not the natural habitat of gorillas. But don’t be fooled by the code name Gorila (Gorilla) on the alleged spy-file: corruption is definitely nothing imported.

If the events described in the document ever prove to be true, it will confirm something long-known, or at least suspected – that political elites are utterly corrupt and that the local law enforcement establishment is more preoccupied with extortion and internal wars between competing agencies and individuals than with crime-fighting of any kind.

What would be new and shocking is the bluntness with which bribes were discussed and the extent of influence people in the background wield.

Even though the core of the problem lies with Slovak politicians, spooks and policemen, the foreign element can hardly be ignored – regardless of whether Gorilla is true, allegations that French, Italian and Austrian companies were involved in high-profile corruption cases are not new.

Multinationals are often suspected of involvement in manipulated IT tenders, dubious practices within the pharmaceutical business or joint ventures with controversial local businessmen. So while the need to adhere to international transparency standards and European integration have overall played a highly positive role in cleaning up local public life, the West, too, has played its part in feeding the Slovak ‘gorilla’.

Top stories

Quidditch becomes reality in Slovakia as first teams emerge Video

The wizard sport, fighting for its status in the real sports world, has won the hearts of some Slovaks.

Top stories from Last Week in Slovakia Video

Voters’ indifference affects regional votes - Can Slovaks be lured back from Britain? - Petit Press majority owner dies

Foreigners: Top 10 events in Bratislava Video

Tips for the top 10 events in the capital between October 20 and October 29, plus regular services in different languages, training, temporary exhibitions and highlights of the year.

International Halloween Party

Babiš did not re-write the past

Constitutional Court decided in favour of National Memory Institute which included Andrej Babiš in its list of communist secret service confindants.

Slovak-born Czech Finance Minister Andrej Babiš