Banská Bystrica regional governor Marian Kotleba on the public holiday marking the Slovak National Uprising (SNP) on August 29 displayed a “Stop NATO! Yankees Go Home!” banner on the façade of the regional authority building. The Banská Bystrica city hall and members of the regional parliament on September 2 condemned this move.
“The celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the SNP were spoiled by the placing of the banner on the façade of the BBSK building,” press office of Banská Bystrica Mayor Peter Gogola wrote. “Mayor Gogola notified the Banská Bystrica Office for Preservation of Historical Monuments which acted immediately. The mayor approached the office head on the same day, despite being a public holiday.”
The Office for Preservation of Historical Monuments called on Kotleba to remove the banner, as the BBSK headquarters is listed as a historical monument and thus, banner cannot be placed there. The city police attempted to deliver the call on the same day, but due to the public holiday, the following weekend and another public holiday (Constitution Day) on September 1, they succeeded as late as on September 2. The banner was then removed, the TASR newswire wrote.
Regional representatives condemned Kotleba’s act at their session on September 2 and issued a statement to that matter, calling on Kotleba not to abuse the property of the region’s citizens, meaning the building, to promote a political party by displaying insulting signs. “We also distance ourselves from the steps and acts of Banská Bystrica Self-governing Region’s (BBSK) governor, and we apologise to BBSK citizens for the governor’s abuse of his position to promote and present the views of one political party; his Ľudová strana Naše Slovensko / People’s Party Our Slovakia,” the statement reads, as quoted by the SITA newswire. Of the representatives present, 38 voted for the statement, two abstained and nobody voted against.
Kotleba, when asked by TASR how he perceived the adopted statement, said: “I have not understood its sense somehow. That’s all I have to say.” About whether the banner had any connection with the SNP celebrations in Banská Bystrica, Kotleba reacted: “It was connected with the exhibition and it was adapted to fit it, so that people become aware of what is going on in this world; what is going on in Ukraine.”
(Source: TASR, SITA)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
3. Sep 2014 at 10:00