Children Quiz Ministers During Special House Question Time

Parliamentary Chairman Andrej Danko (in the middle) during Children's Question Time in Parliament (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, August 28 (TASR) – Ordinary MPs were replaced at the plenary parliament chamber by children from the Children’s Comenius University on Monday in order to interrogate Government members at a special Question Time, TASR learnt on the same day.

Parliamentary Chairman Andrej Danko (Slovak National Party/SNS), Defence Minister Peter Gajdos (an SNS nominee), Finance Minister Peter Kazimir (Smer-SD), Health Minister Tomas Drucker (a Smer-SD nominee) and Transport Ministry State Secretary Viktor Stromcek (Smer-SD) were present in Parliament to answer the children’s questions.

The young ‘students’ prepared more than 30 questions for ministers, which mainly concerned economic, health and transport issues.

A boy called Bastian wanted to know why Slovakia decided to expand the Government fleet by buying an Airbus A-319 and not another type of aircraft. Stromcek replied that this type of plane represented the most advantageous deal. He added that the machine is manufactured within the EU and that the maintenance costs are incomparably lower than for other aircraft.

A girl who introduced herself as Petra asked the parliamentary chairman whether MPs have to take an IQ test prior to taking up their jobs in Parliament. She also wanted to know how Danko deals with criticism and hate-fuelled comments on the internet. “For example, a sentence, I quote, ‘Mr. Danko, how does it feel to be the captain of the ship called Slovakia, which is gradually sinking under your leadership?’,” the girl asked. Danko replied that he takes such criticism with a smile. He added that when a person applies for an MP post, he or she obviously doesn’t have to take an IQ test.

The parliamentary chairman further noted that children should learn how to receive information in a comprehensive way. “It’s not enough to read one message, or check information only on Facebook, it’s necessary to follow other media, too,” said Danko, stressing that children shouldn’t believe everything they see on social networks and that they should have their own opinion.