No need to celebrate the Constitution; it's a remnant of Mečiar's era

Unlike some other state holidays, Constitution Day was even attended by ex-prime minister Robert Fico.

Constitution Day 2018 in Slovak ParliamentConstitution Day 2018 in Slovak Parliament (Source: SITA)

A hyped-up holiday created during the era of [autocratic premier] Vladimír Mečiar – that is how a historian and political analyst view Slovak Constitution Day, adding that the public is not fully accustomed to this state holiday.

Some politicians commemorated it more spectacularly on Saturday, September 1 than the recent 50th anniversary of the August occupation of Czechoslovakia.

“Constitution Day is a superfluous holiday,” historian Dušan Kováč said. “The Constitution is a contract among citizens on how the state should function, not a sacrament or “golden calf”, he added. He deems the constitution from September 1, 1992 a work of then-prime minister Vladimír Mečiar, stating the only purpose of creating this holiday was to draw attention to his own rule.

“By that time, the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic still existed. So was it a constitution of independent Slovakia, which did not even exist then? That’s nonsense,” Kováč explained.

They failed to commemorate the occupation

On September 1, Open Day in the Slovak Parliament takes place annually. Earlier in the day, Speaker of Parliament Andrej Danko of the SNS party met in the original parliamentary building with former parliamentary speakers.

Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini of the Smer party paid tribute to Constitutional Day there, too.

The state failed to organise any central event to mark the jubilee of the Soviet invasion of then-communist Czechoslovakia. Pellegrini commemorated it at the grave of the 1968-leader of the Communist Party [and proponent of the Prague Spring political reformation] Alexander Dubček, while Danko attended a reverential event at Šafárikovo Square in Bratislava organised by the Confederation of Political Prisoners of Slovakia.

The rest of this article is premium content at Spectator.sk
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Top stories

News digest: Health care staff still lacking, president asks for amends

Slovakia is preparing to launch the nationwide testing on Saturday morning, but the government admitted they still need hundreds of health care staff. Kotleba violates quarantine and hospitals in the north are full.

The Bratislava Self-Governing Region started testing its staff on October 30.

Testing is impossible to carry out as planned, president says

President Zuzana Čaputová asked the government to reconsider measures for people who do not get tested, many will not get a chance.

President Zuzana Čaputová met with the representatives of the armed forces.

The big test is upon us. What are we to do?

For a foreigner living in Slovakia, there is yet another concern.

Health care professionals still lacking ahead of Saturday's testing

Government avoids mobilisation for now, PM offers an extra bonus to health care professionals who can serve the whole weekend.

Dolný Kubín