Right-wing nationalists led by Marian Kotleba, leader of the People's Party – Our Slovakia party (ĽS-NS), held a rally near fire-damaged Krásna Hôrka Castle on Sunday, March 18, but police did not have to intervene, Košice regional police spokesperson Jana Mesárová said the same day, as reported by the TASR newswire on the same day.
"What the Turks didn't accomplish in the 16th century, the Gypsies did in 2012," stated an invitation to the rally posted on the party's website. Krásna Hôrka Castle, considered one of the best-preserved medieval castles in Slovakia, was severely damaged by fire on March 10. Police said that the fire broke out after two local boys, who were identified locally as Roma, accidentally set fire to grass on the castle hill while trying to light cigarettes.
Meanwhile participants in a rally commemorating the 73rd anniversary of the establishment of the Nazi-allied wartime Slovak State (1939-1945) in Bratislava on Saturday, March 17, slated the European Union, calling the euro a "currency of occupation".
"Not so long ago, various humanists and intellectuals mocked us nationalists when we dared to criticise the EU. Some time has passed, and it has become evident that we were right," Marián Mišún of the ĽS-NS said in a speech addressed to several dozen people.
Marcel Urban, the current leader of another extreme nationalist group, Slovenská Pospolitosť (Slovak Togetherness), alleged that the 1939-45 Slovak State was neither fascist nor created by Adolf Hitler, but was "our Slovak one". Urban expressed dissatisfaction that police had forbidden those taking part in the rally from using the official salute of the wartime fascist paramilitary Hlinka Guard, "Na stráž!" ("On guard!"), TASR wrote.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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