Representatives of all parties that are in the new parliament are ready to consider an idea brought forth by President Ivan Gašparovič who called on legislators on March 21 to donate their first monthly salary as MPs towards restoration of the fire-ravaged Krásna Hôrka Castle near Rožňava in Košice region, the TASR newswire reported.
"Far be it from me to issue messages that may sound populist or 'popular', but we all feel the responsibility for this exceptional national cultural monument that has fallen victim to irresponsible behaviour [the fire was started by youths lighting cigarettes]. I'm not ruling out any kind of active involvement in minimising the damage," said Pavol Hrušovský of the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) parliamentary caucus.
The leader of the Ordinary People and Independent Personalities party, Igor Matovič, also embraced the idea but underlined that true charity lies in donating funds away from the limelight. Most-Híd caucus chairman Laszlo Solymos said that his party had considered such a fundraising drive even before Gasparovic's call. Smer party MP Miroslav Číž said that a fundraising drive among MPs would be helpful in kick starting a nationwide fundraising initiative.
Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) leader Richard Sulík expressed his doubts over whether or not it is actually possible to accommodate Gasparovic’s request. "I'm not sure if parliament is able not to pay a salary and send it to Krásna Hôrka instead. I believe this isn't possible," Sulík said but added that he has already contributed towards the restoration work on the castle.
"I don't know what others (in the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ)) reckon, but I have no problem with it. I hope Mr President follows suit," said SDKÚ MP Magdaléna Vášáryová.
The damage caused by the fire has been estimated at €8 million.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
22. Mar 2012 at 14:00