Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

I’ve given two years to the EU presidency scandal. I’m leaving.

Whistleblower Hlávková to Foreign Minister Lajčák: You can still tell the truth.

Whistleblower Zuzana Hlávková and her former colleague Pavol Szalai who supported her claims. (Source: Sme - Jozef Jakubčo)

Zuzana Hlávková is a whistleblower. She has worked for Transparency International Slovakia.

I devoted three years to the presidency. First as a Foreign Ministry staffer responsible for cultural presentation, then I investigated the reasons for blown-up prices, and finally as a member of the Transparency International team. A clerk turned activist, quite unexpectedly and outside my plans.

Speaking up about the EU presidency scandal was a question of freedom rather than a question of courage for me. The freedom to think, act, decide, freedom of consciousness. If we do not have it, we live under totalitarianism - at least mentally.

But now is the time to withdraw and reflect upon what has happened, and what it has changed. Silently, alone, away from the spotlight. To take a step back, take a look at things from a different perspective and move on.

For three years I have had Palo Szalai, my colleague and friend, to support me. We sat in one office, we decided to leave the ministry together, we managed to keep in touch even after our departure and together we decided to contact Transparency.

The silent majority can checkmate corruption. All it takes is for them to speak up.

We have several circumstances to thank for the fact that our life did not fall apart after we published the suspicions. The great education that we both got, our healthy relationships with friends and family, the self-confidence that we can do better than help someone engage in fraud.

Read also:I wanted to do the right thing

But most of all the fact that we - first Pavol, then me - got in touch with Transparency, and later the public and supporters who had our back, businesspeople who offered us jobs, lawyers who wanted to represent us, students, and many others.

For me, it is a story about what people can do together when they join forces.

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

The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Topic: EU presidency


Top stories

Tom Odell surprised Slovak band in Bratislava Video

The British artist was wearing a T-shirt, presented to him by the Tolstoys, from start to finish at his Bratislava concert.

Tom Odell

El País: Female professor openly fights high gender pay gap in Slovakia

The major Spanish daily portrays Slovakia as one of the EU countries with the highest level of gender inequality through the story of Svetlana Fialová.

5 most significant results of the municipal elections Photo

A slightly higher turnout and more independent candidates. Some results in the municipal elections came as a surprise.