Former President Pooh-poohs State of Republic Address

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Former Slovak President Ivan Gasparovic. (Photo by TASR)

Bratislava, June 15 (TASR) – Former two-time president Ivan Gasparovic (2004-09 and 2009-14) has expressed his surprise at his successor Andrej Kiska’s criticism in the State of the Republic Address on Wednesday of how the police have been investigating the murders of journalist Jan Kuciak and his girlfriend in February, stating that he instead believes that nobody is trying as hard to see the case cleared up as the responsible police investigators.

The president in his address stated that the double murder of Kuciak and his girlfriend “was most likely a tragic materialisation of the fact that criminal behaviour had been tolerated, and this behaviour had been revealed only by courageous journalists at their own risk, while the country’s political leadership had been sitting back for years”.

Gasparovic also pooh-poohed Kiska’s “mere observation of some things in Slovakia” without presenting specific solutions. At the same time he admitted that the president must critically assess the situation in society, but at the same time he also must point to key successes.

“According to the president and his address, Slovakia is one big negative problem. I think that it isn’t true, there are many positives, including in domestic policies vis-a-vis social programmes, while we’re also very successful in foreign policy,” said the former president.

Gasparovic, along with his predecessor Rudolf Schuster (1999-2004), on Thursday attended a Shadow State of the Republic Address delivered by independent leftist candidate Eduard Chmelar, who levelled criticism at the Government for prioritising defence expenditures at what he believes is the expense of research and science. Chmelar also bemoaned the lack of long-term goals for Slovakia by political elites, apart from the absence of tolerance in dialogue and the resulting polarisation of society, all building up towards its eventual disintegration.