SLOVAKS mark the 1989 Velvet Revolution on November 17. Several events are held throughout the country to commemorate this national holiday, known as the Day of Fighting for Freedom and Democracy.
November 17 actually commemorates a chain of events in 1989 that started with student protests and lasted for a couple of weeks, all of which led to the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia. This is known as the Velvet Revolution as the transition of power was largely non-violent.
This year, as Slovakia marks the 24th anniversary of the fall of communism, a major commemorative event is being organised by the three opposition parties grouped within the People’s Platform at the Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava.
Several prominent guests are slated to appear at the event, including European People’s Party vice-chair Lucinda Creighton from Ireland and former Czech foreign minister and conservative TOP 09 party leader Karel Schwarzenberg.
A total of 500 guests have been invited, and the celebrations are also open to the public.
“The KDH views November 17 as one of the most important turning points in our modern history,”
Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) spokesperson Matej Kováč told the TASR newswire. “It meant the end of the totalitarian communist regime and the regaining of long-awaited freedom.” He added that his party’s history also dates back to November 1989.
The opposition party Most-Híd said that merely organising a commemorative event is not enough.
“Political parties nowadays should present this message in the context of the current political and social reality, mainly to the young generation, in order to make totalitarian manners identifiable to those who didn’t experience the period before 1989, and to make them a sound warning to all citizens,” said Most-Híd, as quoted by TASR.
18. Nov 2013 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff