April 2024 \ World News \ SLOVAKIA

BRATISLAVA: Slovak portal dennikn.sk has reported that over 15,000 people took part in an anti-government rally at Bratislava, capital of the Slovak Republic that was organized by the opposition against the government of Robert Fico. The protest was organized by two opposition parties represented in Parliament: Progressive Slovensko (Progressive Slovakia) and Sloboda a Solidarita (Freedom and Solidarity). The main topic of the rally was the disagreement of those gathered with the reform of state television proposed by the Fico government and the foreign policy of the current cabinet.

Since the end of 2023, protests have become a feature in the Slovak Republic. The immediate provocation for these protests has been large-scale reforms of criminal legislation, including migration of punishment for some economic, corruption-related, property crimes and closure of the office of the special prosecutor. The last one in particular has irked the opposition which says that the government intends to stop probing politically sensitive cases.

Czechs Turn Against Slovaks

“We don’t think it’s appropriate to hold intergovernmental consultations with the government of Slovakia in the next weeks or months,” Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala told journalists in March following a cabinet meeting in Prague.

The Czech government has scrapped a tradition of informal joint cabinet meetings with its Slovak counterpart. The Czech government sharply disagrees with its Slovak neighbor when it comes to policy decisions regarding Russia. Czech Republic and Slovak Republic, popularly called Czechia and Slovakia, emerged after the split of Czechoslovakia in 1993.

Relations between the two central European neighbors have turned cold ever since Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico returned to power in October for a fourth term. While the Czech Republic has steadfastly supported Ukraine since Russia’s February 2022 invasion, and more recently canvassed its partners in the European Union to help buy hundreds of thousands of shells for Kyiv from around the world, Fico pledged during his campaign “not to send another bullet to Ukraine.” He also called on Kyiv to give up territory to Moscow to stop the war.

Tags: Slovakia