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Untitled Document
HHRF Alert
July 9, 2006

New Slovak Government Embraces Ultra-Nationalists,
Excludes Hungarian Coalition Party

The Hungarian Human Rights Foundation (HHRF) is deeply concerned over the inclusion of right wing extremists in the Slovak government and the exclusion of the Hungarian Coalition Party, which has a proven track-record of responsible governance and longstanding commitment to democracy and reform. Prime Minister Robert Fico has chosen to send the wrong message to the peoples of Slovakia and the world. His action undermines the efforts of democratic-minded forces in the country which promote tolerance, respect for human and minority rights, and it willfully alienates the international support Slovakia has earned over the past 8 years. HHRF urges all concerned governments, political and public figures, human rights organizations and the general public to unequivocally protest the composition of the Slovak government and put Slovakia's leadership on notice regarding human and minority rights compliance. As it has done for the past 30 years, HHRF will closely monitor and report on the actions of the new Slovak government.

* * *

In a statement issued July 8, the Hungarian Coalition Party (HCP), representing Slovakia's 600,000-strong Hungarian community, expressed grave concern about the ultra-nationalistic orientation of the new Slovak government formed July 3 and said it will oppose any anti-minority step the government takes as well as those aimed at reversing hard-won reforms. As the most consistently pro-European party in Slovakia, HCP recalled that reforms and euro-Atlantic integration would not have been achieved without its active support and participation in both governments between 1998 and 2006.

Although HCP received its highest support to date at the June 17 parliamentary elections with 11.7 percent of the vote, the party was snubbed by SMER president Robert Fico, leader of the winning social democrats. Instead, Fico chose as coalition partners Ján Slota, president of the extreme right-wing Slovak National Party (SNS) and thrice prime minister Vladimir Meciar, head of the Peoples' Party-Movement for Democratic Slovakia. The Slovak National Party is well-known for its xenophobic and ultra-nationalistic views on minorities, especially against Hungarians and Roma [a compilation of Ján Slota's radical statements follows].

Fico Ignores Warnings from Major European Political Leaders

On July 4, the Socialist Group in the European Parliament unanimously condemned the SMER leader's formation of a coalition with the ultra-nationalist SNS and overwhelmingly called for SMER's suspension from the Party of European Socialists (PES). The move came after PES President Poul Nyrup Rasmussen sent two letters to Fico emphasizing that "the composition of the coalition raises many concerns regarding the respect of human rights, in particular the rights of ethnic minorities, as well as commitments to democracy, to the European Union and European values and policies" and that the "Slovak Re-public risks being totally isolated from and condemned by the international community." On July 5, Rasmussen reiterated his recommendation to suspend SMER at the next meeting of the PES Presidency "as long as SNS is in Government in Slovakia."

The Chairman of the largest parliamentary group in the European Parliament, the European People's Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats (EPP-ED), also expressed astonishment "that the most extreme xenophobic party is to be part of the next government." "This development is not justified by any lack of suitable partners in the Slovak Parliament and it can only harm the real interests of Slovakia," declared Hans-Gert Poettering, already on June 30th. At the request of the eight members of the EPP-ED Slovak Delegation, on July 6, the EPP created a monitoring group to closely follow political developments in Slovakia reminding that "a policy respectful of minorities and based on political dialogue is the only way to achieve a stable democratic society."

* * *

Key Ministries to watch in the new Slovak government

SMER holds eleven, SNS three and LS-HZSDS two ministerial posts in the new Slovak government. Previously, the Hungarian Coalition Party held key positions in the ministries of agriculture, construction, regional development and environmental protection, a sore point for extremists. The critical areas effecting minorities where reversals in policies may occur are:

 

Deputy Prime Minister Dušan Caplovic (SMER). Portfolio consists of European Affairs, Human and Minority Rights. This post was previously held by the Hungarian Coalition Party (HCP). Caplovic is one of SMER's most nationalistic politicians known for repeated and virulent anti-minority pronouncements in the Slovak Parliament. He is the number one man to watch for future anti-minority measures, warns HCP Party President Béla Bugár.

 

Minister for Education, Ján Mikolaj (SNS). This critical post for minorities is now held by a Slota loyalist who submitted an anti-Hungarian resolution in the parliament last year. During Meciar's 1994-1998 government, this post was also held by an SNS education minister, Eva Slavkovská, who "destroyed whatever she could in minority schools," emphasizes HCP President Bugár.

 

Minister for Culture Marek Madaric (SMER) belongs to the nationalistic wing of the party. Apparently, Madaric strongly opposed even mentioning the Hungarian Coalition Party as a possible coalition candidate, says Bugár who swore in new MEPs on July 4 as departing president of the Slovak Parliament. Madaric has been responsible for media relations within SMER and was a member of the Slovak Television Council 2002– 2004.

 

Minister for Construction and Regional Development, Marián Jánušek (SNS). As Deputy Mayor of the town where Slota is Mayor, Jánušek is Slota's right-hand man even though his demeanor is milder.

 

Minister for Agriculture, Miroslav Jurena (HZDS). Along with regional development, these two ministries are vital for the 600,000-strong Hungarian minority which is primarily engaged in agriculture.

 

* * *

A Selection of Public Statements by
Ján Slota, President of the Slovak National Party (SNS)

On Hungarians...

"I have to tell you a short story. Back in 1248 a Frank bishop visited the Carpathian Basin and he said: 'As I was scanning this country, I was wondering how God could give such a beautiful land to such ugly people. He meant the 'old Hungarians.' because they were Mongoloid types with crooked legs and they owned such disgusting horses. Actually, small horses. This is what the bishop said, it is written...exactly, it is written word by word...and now, after more than 800 years those 'Mongoloids' have somehow disappeared...I don ´t know who showed them how to be civilized. But I think unfortunately it was the Slavic blood...unfortunately. And I really don't know if these Hungarians, who like to say about themselves that they are Hungarians, are really Hungarians. I think 90 percent of them have Slavic blood and maybe 10 percent, or maybe just a tenth of a percent has the 'old Hungarian' blood. "

In a television debate a few days before the
June 17, 2006 parliamentary elections in Slovakia

"If the Slovak nationalist party is extremist, then Hungarians are radioactively extremists, they radiate more than Chernobyl. The best solution would be to entomb them with cement."

Új Szó, June 10, 2005

"Hungarians are the cancer of the Slovak nation, without delay we need to remove them from the body of the nation."

Új Szó, April 15, 2005

"Do we Slovaks want [the Hungarians] to return... and teach us the Lord's Prayer in Hungarian? No way! We will jump into our tanks, and we will go and flatten Budapest... We will fight, fight for our land, we will fight for every square meter. We won't give even a square centimeter to those Hungarian assholes... Oh, and pardon us. We Slovaks are all racists. And for that reason I say - my brothers, we still have our armaments factories and we still know how to make tanks. Very good tanks..." "This is what we really want? Slovaks? Having it back again? Having us hanged again at lamp-posts, that we will have to learn our prayers in Hungarian again? No way!"

At a Slovak National Party rally on March 5, 1999

On the Hungarian Coalition Party...

"I am sick when I see that the Hungarians set the pace in the Slovak Parliament." It is "pathetic" that the most stable party in the government is the Hungarian Coalition Party.

Új Szó, May 20, 2005

"The activities of the Hungarian Coalition Party are enough to cause even the coldest Slovak corpse buried 200 years ago in Slovak ground to wake up, jump out of his coffin and finally slap someone in the face."

Quote of the Week
The Slovak Spectator, January 24-January 30, 2005

"It is an angel with the devil in its flesh." Slovak National Party (SNS) leader Ján Slota describing the Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK)

Quote of the Week
The Slovak Spectator, November 8 - 14,2004

On Roma...

(about punishment of prostitution): "...those hideous, mostly Gypsies who just stand there...they should simply get beaten with a night stick..."

TV Markiza, June 8, 2006

"If someone is unable to buy a condom or control his lust, the state should buy him a condom." Ján Slota, head of the Real Slovak National Party, offers his thoughts on population growth within the Roma minority.

Quote of the Week
The Slovak Spectator, March 8 - 14, 2004

[…] On February 21 (2003), PSNS boss Ján Slota announced his party would present parlia-ment with a draft law mid-March laying out how Roma men would be offered Sk20,000 (480 euro) in return for their fertility.

"I think we would increase the income [of Roma] if they got Sk 20,000 for just one little cut. I think a lot of Roma would volunteer for this," Slota said.

"There is nothing wrong with it. Families will be free to choose and improve their social situa-tion," said PSNS spokesman Rafael Rafaj. […]

The Slovak Spectator, March 3, 2003

"Drug dealers must immediately be shot, [Deputy PM for Economy Ivan] Mikloš immediately fired, Hungarians forbidden, Gypsies destroyed, Americans spat on, and the 17 secret service agents sicced on Slota recalled. Is that enough?" Ján Slota, head of the Real Slovak National Party, in a tirade as poll results show his party well below the margin needed to enter parliament after September elections.

Quote of the Week
The Slovak Spectator, July 22, 2002

On August 4, 2000, SNS Member of Parliament Vítazoslav Moric called the Roma "idiots" and "mental retards" and recommended they be put on reservations. Moric was stripped of his parliamentary immunity from prosecution in September, clearing the way for charges of inciting racial hatred to be brought against him.

The Slovak Spectator, December 25, 2000

"We are negativist only in saying that parasites have to be eliminated, and parasites are simply those who don't want to work, and the fact that among those people are 95% of all Gypsies is just reality."

Interview in The Slovak Spectator, September 24, 1998

Ján Slota, Chairman of the Slovak National Party (SNS), a member of the ruling coalition, has said that the best policy for Romani is "a long whip in a small yard."

The Slovak Spectator, April 9, 1998

On the Fascist Jozef Tiso…

Slota called Tiso "one of the greatest sons of the Slovak nation" [The Slovak Spectator, February 28-March 5, 2000] and on February 17, 2000, 40 of the 41 city council members in Žilina/Zsolna, where Slota is mayor, voted to dedicate a plaque honoring Tiso. As the leader of Slovakia's 1939-45 Nazi-puppet state, Jozef Tiso was responsible for deporting between 60,000 and 70,000 Jews to concentration camps and was executed as a war criminal in 1946.

On Homosexuals...

"I have no problem with them if they remain in the shadows and just make their disgusting sexual orgies."

TA3, June 8, 2006

* * *

STATEMENT
By the National Council of the Hungarian Coalition Party
On the post-2006 Parliamentary Election Situation

Bratislava, July 8, 2006

The National Council of the Hungarian Coalition Party (NC-HCP) is pleased to acknowl-edge that as a result of the 2006 parliamentary elections, the Hungarian Coalition Party (HCP) achieved its highest percentage of votes to date, 11.7 percent, while the percentage of Hungari-ans in the country is only 9.7 percent. Consequently, the party will retain its number of mandates in the Parliament.

The fact that, in terms of the number of absolute votes, the party has lost supporters does not escape NC-HCP's attention either. Therefore, NC-HCP calls upon the national leadership, in cooperation with the county chairmen, to analyze the election process and submit its report to the NC-HCP by September 30, 2006.

NC-HCP notes that as a viable political force the party leadership did everything possible so that HCP be part of a new government. The NC-HCP regrets that despite a 40 percent com-bined result for the three parties comprising the EPP [European People's Party, trans.] [HCP, SDKU (Slovak Democratic and Christian Union), KDH (Christian Democratic Union)], the group was incapable of forming a government.

While it was not NC-HCP's goal, it would have accepted the large coalition option with SMER as well. In this case, there would have been opportunity to continue the positive devel-opments, and correct the failings of the past four years, in which HCP would have been an active partner. The members of NC-HCP were shocked, however, by SMER's politicking and the party national leadership's decision whereby, of all the possible combination of parliamentary parties, they chose the worst. NC-HCP is gravely concerned by the nationalistic orientation of the new government and authorizes the party's leadership and parliamentary representatives to oppose, in the strongest possible manner, each and every step the new government takes to reverse reforms and against minorities. NC-HCP considers it important to regularly inform international public opinion about all negative steps the new government takes. Domestically, it will use every legal means at its disposal to protect the development of Slovakia's Hungarian community and the economic interests of Slovakia's southern region. The Party offers protection to all civil servants, especially those of Hungarian ethnicity, who are illegally dismissed from their posts by the new powers-that-be. The party emphatically states that only governance and minority policies reflective of the 21st Century's spirit are acceptable. HCP will do everything possible to prevent a reversal of conditions in Slovakia to the pre-1998 state.

As the political body of the most consistently pro-European party in Slovakia, NC-HCP finds it important to emphasize that reforms and Euro-Atlantic integration would not have been achieved without the active support and participation of Slovakia's Hungarian party in both governments between 1998 and 2006.

Therefore, according to NC-HCP, Slovakia should proceed on the road set out after 1998 and characterized by adherence to democratic rules of conduct; respect for human and minority rights; and realization of stable and predictable economic and fiscal policies.

Autonomy -
Transylvania's historical chance


Copyright (c) Hungarian Human Rights Foundation