An amateur theatre company from Brezno which does not perform in line with the wishes of Marian Kotleba, the head of the extremist ĽSNS party, has problems again. Kotleba, as Banská Bystrica regional governor, cancelled its play last year in the middle of a performance and this year he has refused to give them funds.
The funds totalling €1,700 were granted by the local municipality but when the amateur actors requested them they were told that they should not wait for them.
“I don’t know whether he [Kotleba] did so because a negative advertisement helped him in Parliament’s Election last year and he hopes to repeat this when it comes to the regional election or what,” said the head of the Ján Chalupka Theatre, Gabriel Obernauer, as quoted by the Sme Daily.
The district used to regularly contribute financially to the festival , according to Obernauer. The festival has taken place every year for twelve years and even though money from the district covers only one tenth of the costs, the actors count every euro.
Even regional MPs who approved the funds cannot help. One of them, Michal Bagačka (Smer) learned about this issue from Sme.
It’s not the first case where funds authorized by the local council did not get through Kotleba, according to him.
“However, it is within his competence and he cannot be punished,” said Bagačka for Sme Daily.
A generally binding regulation says that regional MPs approve 90 percent of funds and the regional governor approves 10 percent.
“As long as we do not intervene with funds he has approved, he shouldn’t do the same in the opposite way,” continues Bagačka for Sme Daily.
The Banskobystrický district has not revealed the reason for doing so nor has it answered the questions from the Daily Sme.
The organizers of the festival are seeking substitutive forms of funding. This current year of the festival, starting in about a month, should not be endangered, according to Obernauer.
Part of the three-day programme is 'Anna Frank' which warns against fascism, xenophobia and racism.
This could be the reason why Kotleba stopped the funds or it could be because the media covered last year's cancelled performance, according to Obernauer.
“Or he is trying to make people to talk about him; he is losing preferences,” said Obenauer pointing to the newest poll of the Focus agency in which Kotleba does not top the list of candidates, for the first time being outrun by businessman Ján Lunter.
The amateur actors have turned to President Andrej Kiska with a request to support them. He has already done so In the past when he said that Kotleba’s behaviour crossed the line. Kiska has not stated yet how he is going to respond the request.
25. Aug 2017 at 0:32 | Compiled by Spectator staff