Matovic: I Committed Plagiarism Unknowingly, I’ll Retire if Ousted

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Prime Minister Igor Matovic at a press conference on his diploma thesis held on July 22, 2020 (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, July 22 (TASR) – If Parliament ousts me at its extraordinary session slated for Thursday (July 23), I’ll step down as OLaNO chair and retire from politics, Prime Minister Igor Matovic stated at a press conference on Wednedsay.

Matovic added that coalition lawmakers will be given free rein in the vote on the no-confidence motion in him. He declared that in his drafting of the diploma thesis, he had committed the likely plagiarism unknowingly because he had been sure at the time that he had given all the citations appropriately.

“I’ve never attempted to hide the fact that my thesis was based on the study in question and I’m confident that I also cited it directly in my diploma thesis,” said Matovic. That was also the reason why he had dared to criticise other politicians in the past for similar cases, as he was sure his own work was in order and didn’t lack proper citations.

Matovic claimed that he assumes full responsibility for his thesis. He added that he had handled the finals quite well and has never been boastful of his academic degree, as he hasn’t been proud of his approach to his studies in his final two years as a student. The Prime Minister reiterated that he perceives his firm as his real diploma thesis and the recent EU summit in Brussels as his doctorate.

Matovic underlined that if he had felt there was anything to hide, he would have withdrawn the thesis from the university library. When asked by reporters whether he will give consent to have it published and submitted to the anti-plagiarism check, the Prime Minister replied that he hasn’t seen his thesis for 20 years and doesn’t even want to see it. He blamed journalists for not seeking the truth and claimed that they fail to listen properly, still asking him the same question over and over. The reporters responded by saying they do so because he has failed to give them the clear answer.

As an alternative to publishing the diploma thesis, Matovic suggested that he’s willing to undertake a lie detector test abroad. The Prime Minister also declared that Dennik N daily reported on his academic work in a “purpose-built” and “insidious” manner, as the story came out on the day he left Slovakia for a summit in Brussels.