Protesters in West and East Demand Fico and Kalinak Resignations

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Protesters march through Bratislava, demanding Kalinak's and Fico's resignation (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, July 4 (TASR) – The resignation of Robert Fico as Prime Minister and Robert Kalinak as Interior Minister (both Smer-SD) over the Basternak tax case was demanded by approximately 2,000 people assembled on Namestie Slobody (Freedom Square) in Bratislava on Monday, TASR learnt on the same day.

At the same time, discontent was expressed also by protesters at Hlavna Ulica (Main Street) in Kosice.

The protests were organised for a third Monday in a row by opposition parties OLaNO-NOVA and SaS, with the first held June 20 in front of the Bonaparte apartment complex where Fico lives.

In Bratislava today, protesters wielded red cards for Prime Minister Fico, some held banners reading Banana Republic and We Demand Justice. Regarding Fico and Kalinak, the crowd chanted also “resign!”, “enough!” and “to prison (with them)!”

Politicians delivering speeches on the stage mostly drew attention to corruption in politics, the stealing of public property, societal crisis, links between oligarchs and politicians as well as how justice has been trampled in Slovakia. “No other democratic country in modern Europe has sunk so low,” said OLaNO-NOVA leader Igor Matovic.

“Our freedom faces two attacks. On one hand, there are the all-encompassing tentacles of the oligarchs; and on the other there are cheap populists [referring to anti-establishment parties such as far-right LSNS – ed.note] who offer non-workable solutions,” said Martin Poliacik of SaS.

From Namestie Slobody (Freedom Square), the crowd subsequently moved again to the residential complex Bonaparte.

Opposition SaS and OLaNO-NOVA demand Kalinak’s departure from politics due to his alleged connections with entrepreneur Ladislav Basternak, a tax fraud suspect. At the June 20 demonstration, some 3,000 people assembled before the Bonaparte complex. The Opposition intends to continue the pressure against Fico and Kalinak until the end of the year.