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Students will protest against corruption

Nearly 7,000 people plan to attend the march, refusing help from politicians.

Illustrative stock photo(Source: SME)

A group of students want to point to the current state in Slovakia, where one scandal overlaps the next and young people go abroad to live, with a protest march scheduled for April 18 in Bratislava.

“People probably don’t realise it, but many young people don’t have a reason to return to Slovakia and our families are split,” Dávid Straka, student of a Bratislava-based secondary school and one of the organisers, told the Sme daily.

The students oppose the recent claims of Prime Minister Robert Fico that Slovakia has devoted enough attention to corruption, and of Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák that there is no corruption at top places in politics.

Among the main demands of the students are the completion of the investigation of the Bašternák case and the Gorilla scandal. They also call for dismissing Kaliňák, Police Corps President Tibor Gašpar and Special Prosecutor Dušan Kováčik, Sme wrote.

About 6,700 people have so far confirmed their participation in the event via Facebook. Among the speakers at the protest march will be actors Ján Greššo and Maroš Kramár, who both appeared in the film Únos (Kidnapping) about the abduction of the son of late president Michal Kováč to Austria. Whistleblower Zuzana Hlávková, who first informed about the overpriced cultural events linked to Slovakia’s EU Council Presidency, also confirmed her participation, Sme reported.

The organisers have already started preparations for the event, with booking the squares and consulting security issues with police. They are also cooperating with Bratislava city boroughs and the city authorities.

The organisers claim they are not backed by political parties or professional organisations. They have only received some recommendations from non-governmental organisations dealing with corruption.

“Politicians addressed us, but we refused them,” Straka told Sme.

Supporters have already contributed €1,615 to the event, but organisers need about twice as much. The donated sums, published on Facebook, oscillate between €2 and €100.

Peter Kunder of ethics watchdog Fair-Play Alliance praises the initiative, but calls it very ambitious. It is not easy to lure many people into the streets and organisers must be careful that it is not misused by extremists or politicians, he told Sme. However, he plans to invite his friends to the event.

“I consider it important that people support activities leading towards a better Slovakia,” Kunder told the daily, adding that though it may not seem like it, politicians are concerned by street protests.

Topic: Corruption & scandals


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