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UPDATED: 4. MAR 2018, AT 11:33

Murder of journalist: A short guide to the current political situation in Slovakia

Here are the names you need to know to understand how the unprecedented murder of a journalist, Ján Kuciak, and his fiancee, Martina Kušnírová, have affected Slovakia.

Gašpar, Fico, and Kaliňák (right to left). The one million euros that the government offers for information about the murder is displayed on the table. (Source: Sme)

In this story you can read more about:
-What has happened in the first week after the murder hit the news
-Prime Minister Robert Fico and his response to the crisis so far
-Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák and why people call for his resignation
-Culture Minister Marek Maďarič and what his resignation means
-Justice Minister Lucia Žitňanská, Most-Híd Chairman Béla Bugár, and what they are waiting for
-Who has left the government and/or the coalition so far and why
-What the opposition wants
-Why Slovaks discuss the involvement of EU bodies


What happened since the murder?

Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová were buried in their birth villages earlier this weekend. The investigation of their murder continues one week after they were found murdered in their house in Veľká Mača on February 25.

Meanwhile, Slovakia is experiencing major political turbulence. People are calling for independent investigation of the murder along with political consequences, such as the resignation of the interior minister.

Fico's government has promised to give one million euros to anyone who comes forward with relevant information that can help clarify the murder.

Ján Kuciak is believed to have been murdered due to his investigative reporting. The last article he worked on indicated ties between people close to the prime minister and the Italian organised crime group, ‘Ndrangheta.

Read the last article of Ján Kuciak:Italian mafia in Slovakia. Tentacles reaching out to politics

On March 1, the police raided several places in eastern Slovakia and detained seven Italian citizens, most of whom were mentioned in Kuciak’s story.They were released this weekend after the 48-hour legal timeframe elapsed.

President Andrej Kiska has maintained a low profile so far. He made an appearance at the Bratislava march on March 2 but only requested the crowd hold a minute of silence for the murdered couple.Kiska is scheduled to give a speech on public-service television on Sunday, March 4, after the primetime evening news. Prime Minister Robert Fico and Speaker of Parliament Andrej Danko have requested to speak to the nation too; their address will be broadcast following Kiska’s.

Here is what you need to know about the aftermath of the murder and the publication ofKuciak’s last article in Slovak politics:

Prime Minister Robert Fico

Robert Fico has led the country since 2006, with a short break between 2010 and 2012. His party has been linked with a number of scandals during that time, but the current situation is believed to be the toughest he has ever faced in his career.

Since news of the murder broke, Fico has been consistent in saying that he sees no reason for himself or his ministers to step down. Journalists, local and international media watchdogs have pointed out that Fico, along with other politicians in Slovakia, contributed to the hateful atmosphere against journalists with his repeated statements addressed to the press, calling reporters “dirty, anti-Slovak prostitutes” or “slimy snakes”.

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Topic: Vražda novinára Jána Kuciaka


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