Bratislava, June 15 (TASR) – Newly-sworn in Slovak President Zuzana Caputova in her first speech in office stated that she does not want to rule from office but to serve the public and Slovakia.
“By taking the constitutional oath, I’m assuming all the commitments and obligations of public service. I haven’t come to rule, I’ve come to serve citizens, inhabitants, Slovakia. I’ll serve the well-being of the Slovak nation, national minorities and ethnic groups living in the Slovak Republic,” she said, adding that she offers expertise, emotion and a healthy activist interest. She wants to contribute towards constructive cooperation and intends to exercise her office freely.
Caputova further said that Slovakia and its people are more vital than they think. She pointed to the well-mastered and peaceful split of Czechoslovakia, the drastic economic measures that Slovakia has gone through and the fight against unemployment. She pointed to Slovakia’s successful accession to the European Union and the Schengen area. “And we’re the only one [among the Visegrad Four countries] that belongs to the eurozone. We’ve managed it,” she stressed.
The president praised the anti-letterbox company act, highlighted the achievements of Slovak scientists and an active and mature civil society; something that was partly manifested in the protests following the murder of journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kusnirova last year.
Caputova claimed allegiance to a pro-European and pro-Atlantic orientation for Slovakia. “As the European Union is our life and value space, the North Atlantic Alliance is our defence and security pillar. As a country, we must do everything we can to maintain and strengthen this space and its pillars,” she said, adding that Slovakia can’t resolve the most important global issues by itself. “We’ll only manage them within the broadest international cooperation,” she said.
Caputova also pointed to threats such as the climate crisis. “The process of global climate change must be slowed down and reversed, otherwise it could have major consequences for Slovakia as well. We know that a solution to the global ecological threat isn’t only up to us, but a fundamental change in our approach to nature in Slovakia is only within our own power. In this we all have an opportunity to be real patriots, no matter what our opinion, political or party beliefs are,” she noted.
The new president stressed the need for the rule of law and equality before the law. “Too many people in Slovakia have gained a justifiable belief that this isn’t the case in our country. The sense of social injustice has intensified and has taken two forms – one calling for change and for decency, but also one of anger at the system,” said Caputova.
She criticised corruption and the inviolability of selected people. According to her, this must become a thing of the past because it offends the human sense of justice. The president also stressed justice and dignity for both young and old.
Caputova called for efforts to overcome the gap between different groups of people. “We can express our attitude to otherness, a different tradition, different experience and a different opinion without touching the freedom and dignity of others. We just shouldn’t forget that we’re part of a whole, part of the human family. We shouldn’t forget love for our neighbours, which is the basis of respect for diversity,” she said.