Thousands of people attended the third anti-corruption march organised by high school and university students in Bratislava on Monday evening. A crowd of people carrying Slovak and EU flags and a large placard reading ‘Step by Step Against Corruption’ marched across the old town centre from Hviezdoslavovo Square to SNP Square. Once again, the protesters called on Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák (Smer), Police Corps President Tibor Gašpar and Special Prosecutor Dušan Kováčik to resign. Also calling for Kaliňák’s ouster is a petition that has already collected 70,000 signatures.
“We’re not opposition, we’re not media and we’re not obsessed with Kaliňák,” high school student and co-organiser Robert Martin Hudec said in his speech as cited by the TASR newswire. “We just want the rules to apply to everyone equally.”
The protest received support from film director Tereza Nvotová, Bratislava acting students, Vladimír Crmoman of the Slovak Teachers Initiative and scientist Miloslav Bahna.
“We need an Interior Minister who creates conditions for investigating tax frauds and not the Interior Minister who buys flats from tax fraudsters,” said Bahna.
The speakers also responded to the latest anti-corruption activities by Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer). Event co-organiser Karolína Farská considers Fico’s offer to have two university graduates sent to two-year post-graduate study at the International Anticorruption Academy in Austria and other measures inadequate.
“This study truly is quite important and crucial, but I think that people don’t need education on corruption to see that something isn’t right with this state,” said Farská, a high school student.
The students hold a set of demands similar to their previous marches: investigations into the “Bašternák” and “Gorilla” cases, the ouster of Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák and Police Corps President Tibor Gašpar, as well as the resignation of Special Prosecutor Dušan Kováčik. The only demand that has been met to date is the abrogation of Vladimír Mečiar’s amnesties by parliament.