The leaders of three opposition parties allied in the People's Platform - Ján Figeľ of the Christian-Democratic Movement (KDH), Pavol Frešo of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) and Béla Bugár of Most-Híd - signed a joint Memorandum for Responsible Policies at the old parliamentary building in Bratislava on Friday, November 16.
The memorandum describes November 17, 1989 (the date of the Velvet Revolution that removed the rule of Communism in then Czechoslovakia) as the "most significant symbol of the fight for democracy in our modern history". The parties stated that the People's Platform is continuing the legacy of November 17 and wants to represent an "alternative to the leftist policies of Smer", the TASR newswire quoted. According to the memo, responsible policies must include several principles, among them the protection of freedom, civil rights and private ownership, efforts for a stable place for Slovakia in the EU, responsible economic policies, support for the entrepreneurial environment with a focus on boosting employment, support for the middle class, transparency in politics, and a struggle against corruption. Other principles include justice and proper law enforcement, solidarity with the poor and otherwise challenged people, protection of the family, marriage and the harmonious development of children, the right to choice in education and social and health insurance, support for patriotism, rejection of nationalism and xenophobia, protection of the legal status of ethnic minorities, and rejection of populism in politics.
The Memorandum is an epitaph on the gravestone of the old Right, KDH MP Radoslav Procházka wrote on his blog later in the day. Prochazka recently announced the establishment of an opinion platform within KDH called Alpha. TASR quoted Procházka as having written that the memo is full of sterile phrases, and is "as empty and useless as the entire People's Platform".
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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