Pellegrini: Foundations of Independent Slovakia Laid in Martin

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Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (stock photo by TASR)

Martin, October 30 (TASR) – It was in Martin (Zilina region) where political initiatives were engendered that fundamentally altered the fate of the Slovak nation and laid the groundwork for Slovaks to enjoy their independent statehood and take responsibility for their own future, said Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD) in his speech marking the centenary of the signing of the Declaration of the Slovak Nation and the creation of Czechoslovakia.

“The public figures who accomplished this are worthy of our great respect and enormous gratitude,” emphasised the premier. “These were people willing to serve the Slovak nation. Without their political courage and willingness to fight, we wouldn’t have been standing here today.”

Pellegrini is convinced that the legacy of the Martin Declaration bears another and no less irrelevant meaning for the contemporary era. “We need to realise that no matter what kind of political project or idea we champion, the project can’t be successfully promoted without the support of the public. The world is changing, new challenges are rearing up. Without sticking together for the state and nation and its future, we’ll never move forward.”

Pellegrini also called for an end to political quarrels that blossom into animosity and shift from factual context into interpersonal conflicts. “That’s not the way for Slovakia and our nation,” he stressed.

Martin is at the heart of nationwide celebrations marking the centenary of the Declaration of Slovak Nation, used by Slovaks to claim their right to self-determination and co-found Czechoslovakia in 1918. At the time Slovaks also instituted the Slovak National Council as the sole body empowered to represent the nation.

The commemorative event attended by top Slovak and Czech officials follows up on weekend celebrations (October 27-28) held in Czech and Slovak towns on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia.