SLOVAK WORD OF THE WEEK

Scientológia

SLOVAKIA has huge unemployment and a broken judiciary, tens of thousands of its Roma live in medieval conditions and its biggest neighbour is close to war. And what’s the main topic of the presidential elections? Scientology.

SLOVAKIA has huge unemployment and a broken judiciary, tens of thousands of its Roma live in medieval conditions and its biggest neighbour is close to war. And what’s the main topic of the presidential elections? Scientology.

Not that the beliefs, friendships and associations of the candidates are irrelevant. But hey, Robert Fico was a member of a club whose ability to murder, steal, brainwash and curb the freedom of others is almost unparalleled (we’re talking about the Communist party, which Smer is still somewhat behind). Shouldn’t he apologise for that first, before accusing others of posing a “threat to national security”? Especially if Andrej Kiska’s connection to the spiritual movement is only very loose?

The fact that the story is gaining traction proves three things. Firstly, that Smer’s propaganda machine is brutally effective. Secondly, that questions of religion and faith are finding a stable place in Slovakia’s politics, as is also evidenced by the attempt to protect “traditional family” with a constitutional amendment. And thirdly, that Kiska is really so unknown to most voters, that many of them would believe anything they are told about him. Which is likely true not only of his opponents, but also of his supporters.

Given that Kiska has a good chance of becoming the head of state and slowing down Smer, which controls nearly everything in the country, let’s hope the public image of the “good angel” is more or less accurate, and that it was not an electropsychometer that convinced him to run.

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Top stories

The big testing: When and where to show up, and what if I don't want to? (FAQ)

Here is what we know about the practicalities of the nationwide testing so far. Testing also applies to foreigners and diplomats in Slovakia.

Pilot testing in Bardejov

Storm transforms into Gale. More judges and an influential businessman detained

The police raid related to corruption in Bratislava courts.

Businessman Zoroslav Kollár (l) was brought to NAKA.

Senate voted STU rector down. Police called to the uni as well

The session of the Academic Senate proposed that Rector Fikar be dismissed.

Miroslav Fikar