SLOVAK WORD OF THE WEEK

Mafia

“THIS is how the mafia works, they take care of their own.” Daniel Lipšic’s assessment of Tomáš Borec’s decision to help a former regional Smer politician convicted of corruption stay out of jail, at least for the time being, does contain some degree of political hyperbole. Borec is no Mafioso.

“THIS is how the mafia works, they take care of their own.” Daniel Lipšic’s assessment of Tomáš Borec’s decision to help a former regional Smer politician convicted of corruption stay out of jail, at least for the time being, does contain some degree of political hyperbole. Borec is no Mafioso.

But the opposition MP does have a point. The case of František Olejník, a former member of the Košice city council, illustrates several worrying points.

Firstly, the powers of the justice minister are too broad. Sure, there may be cases when his right to file a final appeal make sense. But why does he have the right to suspend someone’s jail sentence until a final ruling? Shouldn’t that be up to the courts?

Secondly, this particular justice minister is somewhat of a disappointment. The choice of Borec, who was not previously affiliated with Smer, was a big surprise. But he has proven to be a loyal and invisible figure. In a country where the judiciary is deeply distrusted, the failure to introduce any real reforms is a problem in itself. Letting a corrupt politician off the hook is just a bonus.

Thirdly, the scandal illustrates why Smer cannot be trusted with any deeper changes in the courts. The temptation to install loyal judges who will help members out of trouble if needed will be too great.

And lastly, the case proves why it is not a good idea to elect Robert Fico for president. His family already runs too much of the country.

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Top stories

Health Minister Marek Krajčí (left) and PM Igor Matovič (both OĽaNO) welcome the first Sputnik vaccine doses in Slovakia.

For Slovakia, one crisis is not enough

Amid the mounting pressure to step down, the prime minister muffed the one thing his government has been fairly good at.

14 h
Vaccination rollout in Slovakia.

Diplomats recognise the contribution of women in the fight against Covid-19

Women have the right to have full control over their body and health, states the diplomatic community on the occasion of International Women's Day.

20 h
Healthcare worker registers a senior in vaccination centre, Trenčín.

Chaos in vaccination registration as new slots open

People 60+ will be able to register for their Covid jab as of Monday.

18 h