Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Exekučná imunita

THE STATE has remained naked. There are no barriers which would prevent the unhampered seizure of state property. The dramatic statement of Prime Minister Robert Fico illustrates the panic that has arisen after the Constitutional Court ruled that state property should lose its “execution immunity”, which prevented the enforcement of private claims against public institutions. The reaction was quick – the government met in a special session, approved a new, somewhat limited version of the “immunity”, which within a day passed through parliament.

THE STATE has remained naked. There are no barriers which would prevent the unhampered seizure of state property. The dramatic statement of Prime Minister Robert Fico illustrates the panic that has arisen after the Constitutional Court ruled that state property should lose its “execution immunity”, which prevented the enforcement of private claims against public institutions. The reaction was quick – the government met in a special session, approved a new, somewhat limited version of the “immunity”, which within a day passed through parliament.

The reaction reflects the same kind of mentality that could be seen in parliament’s and the government’s position papers, which they presented to the court to defend their privileges. “If the state did not use legislation to protect its property (even by means other than those used in the case of other entities), it would lose the sole instrument by which it can prevent not only the destabilisation and paralysis of state bodies, but also the liquidation of hospitals, schools, and other publicly significant institutions.” That sounds dramatic enough. But couldn’t protection be limited only to core institutions and assets? According to the parliament’s opinion, no: “The property of the state is dedicated to perform its functions. It is not quite possible to determine the priority of these functions.”

To sum it up – the state feels that it should stand above the law, that its creditors pose a threat to national security, and that everything it does is terribly important.

That doesn’t seem right for several reasons. Firstly, anyone that has come into contact with local public institutions knows that things in Slovakia don’t work thanks to the activities of the state, but in spite of them. Secondly, the neighbouring Czech Republic has no similar restrictions and it seems not to have slid into anarchy.

Most provisions guaranteeing a strong position for the state date back to socialist times. Not so in this case. The various provisions that until now shielded public property have been creeping into the legal system since 1993, when Slovakia gained independence. And even the hastily approved law has dressed the state in a thick, new armour.

Top stories

Námestie Slobody gets facelift Photo

The architectural tender will gather ideas for the redesign of the biggest square in Bratislava

Námestie Slobody will be redesigned into a kind of living room in the city.

When the state can’t keep a secret

A selective leak has tarnished President Kiska’s reputation. But he must continue to speak out about corruption.

President Andrej Kiska

Fundamental values explored at Divadelná Nitra 2017

This time round, the Slovak, European and US ensembles at the theatre festival focus on #fundamentals, i.e. basic values and the essence of all things.

Nature Theatre of Oklahoma: Pursuit of Happiness

Foreign rocket engines for North Korea: Why?

For Russia, the path to a weakened China could be through a major nuclear accident in North Korea.