Police recorded 242 extremist and racially motivated criminal acts in 2011, which represents more than double the figure recorded in 2010, during which 114 such crimes were committed, states a report on combating extremism issued by the Interior Ministry on Monday, October 15.
The TASR newswire quotes the report as saying that 2011 also saw an increase in extremist demonstrations. Most of these protests - along with manifestations of hate-fuelled behaviour in general - were organised or spread via the internet. "The organisers of demonstrations were seeking 'unifying' topics (of potential interest to supporters of both left and right wing supporters) such as 'anti-gypsy sentiment', criticism of the social system, and sensationalised media coverage," reads the document.
In addition, the report cautions that Slovak extremists have moved on from anonymous manifestations via participation in civil associations all the way to politics. To achieve their goals, they have usually made use of problems concerning socially disadvantaged and "inadaptable" (the latter a common Slovak euphemism for Roma) communities. "When pointing to a certain problem, they [the organisers] intentionally take advantage of the frustrations of local people," reads the report, referring to nationalist organisation Slovenská Pospolitosť (Slovak Togetherness) which was active throughout Slovakia last year. Trenčín region saw the largest number of this type of criminal acts, with almost 20 percent of all such crimes committed in that region.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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