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Opposition and KDH to celebrate November ’89 together

The opposition Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) and OĽaNO-NOVA parties along with the extra-parliamentary Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) and independent MPs will commemorate the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution on November 17, 1989 together this year.

November 17(Source: Sme)

Representatives of the parties will speak to the public. “We’ll say something that’s worth saying. Some cultural events will also be prepared for people," KDH chairman Alojz Hlina informed the TASR newswire on November 15.

Independents Miroslav Beblavý and Zsolt Simon will also attend the event. “When organising this event, we instantly joined forces even though we have different views concerning some matters,” said Beblavý, describing November 17 as “the foundation ideal of Slovakia”.

SaS MP Ľubomír Galko said that some of the post-November politicians have interpreted freedom in a way that is different from what they should really see behind that word. “You can’t see endless spending of money behind it [freedom],” he noted. He is of the opinion that freedom goes hand in hand with great responsibility. “We’d like to tell the public on Thursday not to lose hope that Slovakia can be a good country,” said OĽaNO-NOVA MP Veronika Remišová, adding that the need for change is enormous.

Previous years have seen celebrations of the Velvet Revolution taking place at the Slovak National Theatre as well as on SNP Square. Representatives of OĽaNO-NOVA and KDH, along with Hlina, celebrated November ’89 together last year as well.

A bit of history

At the beginning of November 1989, members of the state police attacked students who were marching in support of basic human rights in Prague. This caused public outrage, and more and more students began to protest against the socialist regime, resulting in its fall.

Around the world, November 17 is known as International Students’ Day – as it was first marked by Nazi Germany in the Czech Protectorate during World War II closing universities, while also sending many students to their death in the concentration camps – as a result of the violent oppression of a peaceful demonstration marking the anniversary of birth of Czechoslovakia, October 28.

The former communist Czechoslovakia, however, wrote a new line in its history in 1989, and Slovakia turned this day into a public holiday in 2001. It is now celebrated as the Day of the Fight for Freedom and Democracy.

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