Fico: Challenges Are Rejecting Fascism and Slovakia’s Place in New EU

Prime Minister Robert Fico (right) and Parliamentary Chairman Andrej Danko marking the 25th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of the Slovak Republic (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, July 17 (TASR) – Slovakia has to address two main national issues in order to reach consensus in society, stated Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer-SD) in his speech marking the 25th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of the Slovak Republic on Monday.

“First of all, there’s … a clear attempt to return to the ideas of the first Slovak state [1939-45], and that has to be rejected. We must reject political forces and movements in Slovakia that call for the return of what was taking place in Slovakia in the 1940s. All of us must together reject any attempts to revitalise the fascist Slovak state…,” said Fico in his speech.

As for the second issue, the prime minister mentioned national interests relating to the position of Slovakia within the new EU. “Please, let’s not pretend that huge challenges won’t come, they certainly will,” he said, adding that Slovakia can’t afford to be just a witness and then respond to what will come. “We need to be a direct participant in the debate, and we must jointly shape the European future,” said the prime minister, adding that Slovakia should sit at a single table with the most developed EU countries.

Fico went on to say that he was one of the 113 legislators who sat on the benches of the former building of the Slovak National Council [the Slovak Parliament in the erstwhile Czechoslovakia – ed. note] on July 17, 1992 and voted for the Declaration of Sovereignty. “It was consensus in the full sense,” he said, stressing that consensus on fundamental national issues must always be maintained in Slovakia.

Parliamentary Chairman Andrej Danko (Slovak National Party/SNS) views the Declaration of Independence of the Slovak Republic as the result of political tension concerning the way in which the state should be organised in the former Czechoslovakia. “By this political act the Slovak nation declared its interest in becoming an equal member of the family of free European nations. Today, on the 25th anniversary of adopting the declaration, we’ve deposited the original [declaration document] along with the state symbols of the Slovak Republic in Parliament’s Hurban Chamber,” said Danko, adding that the originals will be made available to the public on important days.

Slovakia marks the 25th anniversary of its Declaration of Independence on Monday. The Slovak National Council within the former Czech and Slovak Federal Republic adopted the declaration in 1992, thereby declaring sovereignty. In doing so, the Slovak nation expressed for the first time interest in becoming an independent country, which resulted in the Constitution adopted on September 1, 1992 and later in the creation of an independent state on January 1, 1993.