“Civil Society” keeps up Pressure on Slovak Government

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By Marek Degro, Director of the Anton Tunega Foundation.

SlovakiaA murder of investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancé Martina Kušnírová this February mobilised a group of young students around Slovakia. In many cities were organised protests against Fico’s and now Pellegrini’s way of governing. All the communication and organisation was led by establishing non formal group called “Slušné Slovensko” (Fair Slovakia). Mr. Kuciak was investigating corruption affairs at the highest levels of political level. Together with many other affairs and problems in the country this momentum was able to bring to the streets maybe a hundred of thousand people – the most since 1989.

After calm summer, a couple of days before the Velvet Revolution’s anniversary appeared in the media that the organisers of the anti-government protests were monitored by the NAKA (National Criminal Agency). This was followed by the direct investigation of leaders of “Slušné Slovenskobased on anonymous report. Police officers requested protesting students to grant the access also to their private bank accounts in order to check by whom they are financed. Former PM of Slovakia and still Chairman of Smer-SD Robert Fico expressed his suspicion that this whole mobilisation might be financed by the infamous billionaire George Soros and that the aim of this support would be to destabilise the government and the country,

Finally, police officers didn’t find any evidence or suspicious financing during the investigation. On the other hand it mobilised the so called “civic society” to support “Slušné Slovensko” by organising a public collection in which within 36 hours were collected more than 50.000 euros from all around the country. Collection was followed by the protest one day before 29th anniversary of Velvet revolution, attended by around 18.000 people.

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