Bratislava, November 9 (TASR) – No one has produced more racist billboards in Slovakia than the Slovak National Party (SNS) before the 2010 general election, and current SNS leader and Parliamentary Chairman Andrej Danko was partly behind them, stated Opposition OLaNO-NOVA party leader Igor Matovic on Wednesday.
Matovic was speaking in response to Danko’s meeting with Prosecutor-General Jaromir Ciznar earlier in the day at which along with House Vice-chair Bela Bugar (Most-Hid) Danko discussed how to tackle displays of xenophobia and racism in Parliament. According to Danko, such manifestations have come from Matovic as well.
The OLaNO-NOVA leader showed two examples of billboards featuring anti-Roma elements that were used by SNS before the 2010 and 2012 general elections.
“I’ve been SNS chairman for four years. These aren’t the billboards used during my leadership. You can’t see any billboards of mine with such a character anywhere,” said Danko.
However, Matovic pointed out that when the first of the billboards was displayed, Danko was the only representative of SNS’s Central Election Commission. Before the 2012 election, he was SNS vice-chairman. Matovic stressed that Roma as well as human rights organisations protested against these billboards at the time, while Danko defended them. “Such racist billboards have never been used even by [far-fight People’s Party Our Slovakia leader] Marian Kotleba,” said Matovic.
Regarding his statement in which he compared the situation faced by Opposition MPs in the House to that of Jews in concentration camps, Matovic reiterated that this was a metaphor. “Every reasonable person, if they heard the statement, would see no hint of defaming a nation, racism, fascism or xenophobia in it,” he said.
Matovic also discussed this issue with Slovak Union of Jewish Communities head Igor Rintel for two hours on Tuesday (November 8). “He told me several times that the statement doesn’t include any anti-Semitic or racist elements, only that he considers it to be unfortunate,” said Matovic.