Mečiar in dread of Hungarian racism

M. S.
Last updated:
09:34 22-07-2013
Created:
19:24 31-05-2010

Today the Slovakian state canon regards Hlinka as the father of the nation, one example being the use of his image on the thousand koruna banknote when the nation gained its independence.

Vladimír Mečiar's party has called upon the competent Hungarian organs to consistently observe the decrees banning the popularization of fascism, and the use of fascist badges, including the uniforms of the Hungarian Guard.

The Slovak government party published a proclamation on Saturday which read: "As the founding party of the Slovak Republic, The People's Party - Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) has followed the events that have taken place in the Hungarian Parliament with a deep sense of unease". The party claims that during the session to open Parliament some representatives made their oath dressed in "the uniform of the neo-fascist Hungarian Guard".

"HZDS ascribes the blame for neo-fascism, radicalism, and the whole manifestation of xenophobia to the weakening of parliament, since it has shown itself to be powerless to prevent such behaviour," read the document, approved by the party leadership.

HZDS asserts that such manifestations have no place in the European Union, because they raise tensions between peoples and endanger European democracy and stability.

The party calls upon every competent European institution to condemn the manifestation of radicalism in Hungary. At the same time they stressed that they would protect Slovakia's sovereignty with all their power.

It is quite possible that this outburst by Mečiar's party (the politician began his career in the Czechoslovakian Communist Party and the Czechoslovakian Youth League) was simply an attempt to distract attention from Slovakia's ethnic problems which are stretching tensions to breaking point, since his present declarations otherwise make no sense if compared to statements made earlier by Ján Slota, the president of the Slovak National Party (SNS), which has formed a coalition with HZDS. Slota not only became known because of his anti-Hungarian rhetoric. As the president of SNS he stated in 2006 after the parliamentary elections and upon the formation of the new cabinet that "The solution to the Gypsy question is simple: what's needed is a small yard and a long whip". It is a paradox that this politician, famed for being anti-Hungarian, is "seriously concerned" about Hungarian Roma being attacked and murdered, while anti-semitism and a hatred of Hungarians play a prominent role in his views. For example, in one of his speeches he declared, "If you support the secret scheming of the Jews and Hungarians for world domination, be cursed."

At the same time, Mečiar does not have to look to his neighbour for a dose of racism. Even as prime minister he declared that the proliferation of the Roma had to be dealt with, "because if we don't, twenty or thirty years from now they will be dealing with our proliferation". His words were acted upon. It came to light that Roma women giving birth in the hospitals in Késmárk and Kassa were being sterilized without their knowledge or consent. The scandal only broke out in 2003, and civil rights activists managed to prove four cases. The four women concerned turned to the Strasbourg Court of Human Rights to seek compensation and in spring last year the court ruled that each woman be paid 3,500 Euros in damages.

Civil organizations have frequently called attention to the unwillingness of the office of the commissioner for the Roma, (which comes under the authority of Deputy Prime Minister Dušan Čaplovič), to deal with the minorities problem, the result of which is that local governments do not receive support from central government to promote integration. Čaplovič was incidentally the politician who first suggested that the neo-Nazi protest in Szentmihályfalva on 8 August 2009, which was broken up, was incited from abroad.

It is worth noting that on 9 August, one day after the events in Szentmihályfalva, the socialist prime minister, Robert Fico, called upon the similarly extreme Matica Slovenská cultural organization to arrange more programmes than it had already in the part of Southern Slovakia populated by Hungarians. It is important to know that among the regular participants at such programmes are the guards of the Slovak Brotherhood, which constantly evoke nostalgia for the Slovak, fascist puppet state in office during World War II. The guards have also held several anti-Hungarian demonstrations.

The uniform of the Slovak Brotherhood is a black shirt, which is the same outfit as that worn by the Hlinka Guard, which was active in Tiso's Slovak fascist state. Their crest with its white double cross is also a reference to this period.

The name comes from Andrei Hlinka, a working class priest and politician who was the subject of deep controversy at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Today Slovakia officially regards him as the father of the Slovak nation and upon the country gaining its independence in 1993 his image was set on the thousand koruna banknote; a mausoleum was built by his grave and he is recorded in the Slovakian National Biographies as "one of the most important individuals in Slovakia's history, a national, Christian politician and a representative of Slovak aspirations for autonomy".

It was on the initiative of the Ján Slota-led Slovak National Party that this viewpoint was passed in a law. However, selecting one of Hlinka's statements at a rally in 1936 as an example tells us where he stood: "I am the Slovakian Hitler; I will create order here as Hitler has in Germany." He characterised the left wing parties as "Jewish-Bolshevik mobs", and stressed: "I will not rest until I have created a white Slovakia out of a red Slovakia". After Hlinka's death in 1938 Jozef Tiso, the "Szálasi of the Slovaks" took over power in his party.

In 2007 Robert Fico declared that Andrei Hlinka had "inspired the Slovaks."

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