Kiska: Kovac’s Words and Actions Helped to Defeat Evil of 1990s

President Andrej Kiska speaking at the state funeral of former president Michal Kovac. (Photo by TASR)

Bratislava, October 13 (TASR) – No other Slovak constitutional official had to make such difficult and painful decisions within such a short period of time as former president (1993-98) Michal Kovac, said current President Andrej Kiska in a speech at a Requiem Mass for Kovac at St. Martin’s Cathedral in Bratislava on Thursday.

The political evil of the 1990s in Slovakia was partly defeated thanks to Kovac’s words and actions, said Kiska.

“Nobody had to deal with the public interest of the country in such stark conflict with the immediate interest of protecting their own security, privacy and closest family’s reputation,” said Kiska, who recalled what Kovac said in 1994 – that those who thought that he’d let himself be intimidated and disgusted from carrying out his duties as president were wrong.

“When saying those words, he certainly didn’t know what a test of his decision he’d soon face. The then governing power stopped at nothing, not even at abducting his son,” said Kiska.

The incumbent president noted that he didn’t know Kovac as a private individual, but he believes that Kovac wasn’t able to come to terms with the fact that although “the evil he was fighting has been politically defeated, we as a society still haven’t been able to deal with this evil”.

Kiska pointed out that the kidnapping of Kovac’s son Michal Jr. in 1995, the murder of a key witness and further crimes of the period have remained unpunished. “Nevertheless, the feelings of anger, helplessness and determination have evaporated over time. Only memories have remained, but even they have been gradually disappearing year by year. It was actually only the passing away of this man, who’ll remain forever connected to the then fight for Slovakia’s future, that again fully reminded us of these events,” said Kiska, who added that nobody who’s responsible for public affairs should consider the crimes of the reign of Vladimir Meciar as a thing of the past.