Crisis feeds extremism. Matovič gov't performance crucial to preventing it

Politicians need to be careful about their language too.

Not in our houseNot in our house (Source: Sme)

A little more than two months ago, the further rise of the far right appeared to be one of the main problems Slovakia would have to deal with. The COVID-19 pandemic has surpassed those fears for now, but opened room for others with regard to its aftermath.

Slovakia's experts on extremism do not see the pandemic as something that the far right can benefit from, which is also what numbers from the post-election polls suggest. But radicals may feed off the economic crisis that the coronavirus situation is expected to trigger.

“Extremism always flourishes when it comes to a crisis – economic, spiritual, psychological, the crisis of elites and so on,” historian Jakub Drábik of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, who authored the 2019 book Fascism, told The Slovak Spectator.

The government of Igor Matovič, which resulted from the election and was appointed amid the toughest anti-coronavirus measures and fears in Slovakia, can prevent the far right from emerging - if it employs good policies and cultivated communication, experts say.

It will be a challenge for the coalition of four parties, featuring parties like Sme Rodina and Ordinary People (OĽaNO) that have engaged in populist rhetoric in opposition. Sme Rodina is also a member of the Europe of Nations and Freedom, grouping with parties like Marine Le Pen's National Front and Matteo Salvini's Northern League.

What the far right says about the pandemic

Political scientist Tomáš Nociar, a leading expert on extremism in Slovakia, opined that the coronavirus situation does not favour the far right.

“In general, support of the far right grows when its topics resonate in society, to which it can effectively react using its ideology,” Nociar told The Slovak Spectator. He listed minorities, migration, crime and corruption as such topics.

The People’s Party Our Slovakia (ĽSNS) has in fact tried to link the COVID-19 pandemic with the topics it is comfortable and familiar with. They communicated a number of hoaxes to their supporters on Facebook recently, including that the disease was just a cover-up for a greater plan to fit citizens with nanochips to be injected with vaccination. ĽSNS leader Marian Kotleba and his MPs repeatedly called COVID-19 “a project”, blaming “immigrants” for bringing the pandemic to Europe.

Support for the far right not rising now

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

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on
  • 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 and

Top stories

Actor Noël Czuczor portrays Alfréd Wetzler in "The Auschwitz Report".

The Allies knew about Auschwitz atrocities, but they bombed the Bratislava refinery instead

A report about the atrocities written by two Slovaks who escaped the camp was ignored for weeks and months.

13. okt
Children flying kites in Žilina.

Weekend: Short stories about 'unicorns' win a prize

Philip Morris has opened an interactive laboratory in Banská Bystrica, and private radio stations will say goodbye to Slovak music.

15. okt
Cyclists and scooter riders wave their way on Obchodná Street.

How to cycle in the centre of Bratislava

Obchodná Street is one problematic stretch for cyclists in the capital.

14. okt
The Christmas market on Main Square.

In spite of pandemic, Bratislava is preparing for Christmas markets

But there won't be an ice rink in Hviezdoslavovo Square this year.

15. okt
Skryť Close ad