Slovak National Party

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For the party with the same name active from 1871 until 1938, see Slovak National Party (historical party).
Slovak National Party
Leader Andrej Danko
Founded December 1989
Headquarters Bratislava
Ideology Slovak ultranationalism,[1][2]
Hungarophobia,
Right-wing populism,[3]
Euroscepticism
Political position Far-right[4]
International affiliation None
European affiliation Movement for a Europe of Liberties and Democracy (2011-present)
European Parliament group Europe of Freedom and Democracy (2009–2014)
Colours White, Blue, Red (Colours of the Slovak flag)
National Council
0 / 150
European Parliament
0 / 13
Website
http://www.sns.sk/
Politics of Slovakia
Political parties
Elections

The Slovak National Party (Slovak: Slovenská národná strana, SNS) is a political party in Slovakia. The party characterizes itself as a socialist, nationalist party based on what it calls the European Christian system of values.[5] However it is sometimes described as ultra-nationalist,[2][6][7][8][9][10] right-wing extremist,[2][11][12][13] and far-right,[14] due to its statements[15] about Hungarians and Romani which have been characterised as racist.[16][17][18] The party’s major concern after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia has been the alleged danger of "irredentism".[19] Any moves and changes toward broader rights for the national minorities living in Slovakia, especially the sizeable Hungarian minority living in southern Slovakia, was seen as a step toward territorial autonomy.[19]

Since 1990 SNS has won seats in every Slovak parliament but two (in 2002 and 2012) and has been part of the government from 2006 to 2010. In that year it formed a coalition with Robert Fico's Direction – Social Democracy (Smer-SD), which resulted in suspension of Smer-SD from the Party of European Socialists (PES). The PES considered SNS a "political party which incites or attempts to stir up racial or ethnic prejudices and racial hatred."[20] However, in 2008 Smer's membership suspension ended with no further PES's demands regarding SNS.[21] In the Slovak parliamentary election, 2012, SNS failed to meet the 5% electoral threshold, and thus lost parliamentary representation. On the following party congress in October 2012, the delegates chose lawyer Andrej Danko as the new chairman of the party.[22]

History[edit]

The party was founded in December 1989 and perceives itself as an ideological heir to the historical Slovak National Party. The party declares its three pillars: Christianity, nationalism and socialism. One of the biggest events the SNS has participated in since then was the establishment of an independent Slovakia on 1 January 1993. The SNS has had deputies in the Slovak parliament in the years 1990–2002 and 2006-2012. The party also had deputies in the Slovak government. Marián Andel, Jozef Prokeš, Jaroslav Paška and Ľudovít Černák were in the second Mečiar government (1992–1994), Ján Sitek and Eva Slavkovská in the third Mečiar government (1994–1998) and other deputies were in the government of Robert Fico from 2006–2010 (see below).

Between the years 2001 and 2005 there was a Real Slovak National Party (Pravá slovenská národná strana, PSNS), a party of SNS splinters, which remerged with SNS later. Since 2005, there is also a United Slovak National Party (Zjednotená slovenská národná strana, ZSNS), also formed of former SNS members. In February 2006, PSNS changed its name into the Slovak National Coalition – Slovak Mutuality (Slovenská národná koalícia – Slovenská vzájomnosť). However, only the Slovak National Party is currently relevant.

In 2008 a €120 million tender for establishing the rules and guidelines and logos for distribution of funds from the European Union, was won by a consortium of firms with close ties to SNS leader Ján Slota. The tender notice had been posted for only five days on a bulletin board in the ministry run by the SNS party behind a locked door, which resulted in a single bid. Following the scandal, the SNS minister in charge of the contract was fired, and the European Commission has launched an investigation.[23] In 2009 SNS proposed law to create barriers for women seeking abortion in Slovakia.[14]

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Election results[edit]

  • 1990: 13.94%
  • 1992: 7.93%
  • 1994: 5.4%
  • 1998: 9.07%
  • 2002: 3.32% (3.65% for PSNS)
  • 2006: 11.6%
  • 2010: 5.08%
  • 2012: 4.55% (0.63% for NaS)

In the parliamentary election of 17 June 2006, the party won 11.6% of the popular vote and 20 out of 150 seats.

In the 2009 European Parliament elections, the party won 5.6% of the vote to obtain its first seat.[24] The party was member of the Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) group during the 7th European Parliament.

In the 2010 parliamentary election the party won only 5.08% of votes, lost 11 of their former seats and was therefore not able to form a government with their former partners Smer.[25]

2006–2010: In Slovak government[edit]

SNS entered the current Slovak government after Chairman Ján Slota and Robert Fico agreed to create a coalition government. This created an unusual situation of an alleged far-right party, SNS being accepted and taken as a partner by SMER, a party describing itself as leftist. Three SNS ministers were sworn in on 4 July 2006:

  • Jaroslav Izák as the minister of the environment. Jaroslav Izák was fired from the Environment Ministry top job in the wake of accusations of cronyism, He was succeeded in the by Ján Chrbet.[26]
  • Ján Mikolaj as deputy prime minister; minister of education.
  • Marián Janušek as the minister of construction and regional development. Janušek was sacked from the Ministry's top job for "granting lucrative contracts worth €98 million to two firms, Avocat and Zamedia, which are believed to have links to SNS chairman Ján Slota."[26]

Further ministers, delegated by SNS:

  • Ján Chrbet as Minister of Environment, after Izák. His firing was over his responsibility in a mega-scandal involving the sale of the country's excess emission quotas at an extremely low price, below their market value.[26]
  • Viliam Turský as Minister of Environment following Chrbet. Also fired by Fico over a dubious contract he signed with a company. After three SNS Ministers were fired from the same ministry, Fico took away control of the ministry from SNS.[26]

Controversy[edit]

In April 2008, a map was published on the official web page discussion forum of the party where the territory of Hungary was divided between Slovakia and Austria, eliminating Hungary from the map.[27][28][29] After receiving media attention the map was promptly removed and the party has denied responsibility, referring to the free access policy of the forum section, where the map was posted.[30] The former party leader Ján Slota is the source of considerable controversy, Slota is frequently criticized for arrogance, nationalism,[31] and extremism.[32] The Slovak Spectator reports that most of the media attention Slota receives is because of statements that cross "the line not just of political but also human decency."[33] Documents about party leader Slota's criminal past, detailing arson, grand theft auto and assault, were broadcast by Markíza, the leading private television station in Slovakia, which resulted in a court case Markíza v Slota.[34] During the court proceedings Slota admitted to some of the crimes and even said he was proud of assaulting and beating a Hungarian saying "I am proud of giving that Hungarian a black eye".[35] Another physical assault was committed by Anna Belousovová of SNS against fellow parliamentarian Igor Matovič of SaS.[36] The SNS politician slapped Matovič saying she disliked an article written by him.

Allegations of racism and discrimination[edit]

The ultra-nationalist[2][9] SNS is known for its inflammatory rhetoric against the Roma and Hungarians.[10][37] The Party of European Socialists, considered SNS as a "political party which incites or attempts to stir up racial or ethnic prejudices and racial hatred."[20] The former party's leader Ján Slota, referred to by Earthtimes as "a xenophobic politician who has stirred anti-Hungarian sentiments",[38] said the best policy for dealing with the Romani was "a long whip in a small yard."[39][40] He is quoted as saying "we will sit in our tanks and destroy Budapest"[39] and questioning if homosexuals are normal people.[41] Slota stated that "The Hungarians are a cancer in the body of the Slovak nation."[42] Slota called the fascist leader Jozef Tiso "one of the greatest sons of the Slovak nation"[2] and on 17 February 2000, 40 of the 41 city council members in Žilina, where Slota was mayor at the time, voted to dedicate a plaque honouring Jozef Tiso.[2] Honoring him is controversial since Tiso was not only a fascist leader but a convicted Nazi collaborator and an executed war criminal. Later in a move that was described as absurd by a Slovak journalist, SNS demanded the seat of deputy prime minister responsible for human rights and national minorities. The party did not manage to obtain the seat.[26]

Allegations of fascism[edit]

The SNS party was accused of being a fascist party in the past. The allegations are sometimes connected to various statements of party members or that SNS was behind "the continuing campaign to rehabilitate Jozef Tiso, head of the wartime fascist regime, which was responsible for the deportation of the country’s Jews to the death camps" might also be a contributing factor.[43] One high profile fascist allegation was when in 2006 in a live interview with Inforadio, a politician of the Party of the Hungarian Coalition, Miklós Duray described SNS as a "fascist party".[44] Duray said "one third of the Slovak government is made up of Slota's party which is fascist"[45] describing the 2006 governing coalition between Robert Fico's Smer, Ján Slota's SNS, and HZDS, making SNS one of the three governing parties. SNS sued for financial damages, alleging the statement caused it loss of votes, image, and reputation.[46] The Slovak Supreme Court ultimately decided that SNS is not entitled to any monetary damages for being called fascist.[47] SNS party chairman Ján Slota denounced the Supreme Court of Slovakia for that decision.[48]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Exit poll: opposition winning Slovak election[dead link]
  2. ^ a b c d e f New Slovak Government Embraces Ultra-Nationalists, Excludes Hungarian Coalition Party HRF Alert: "Hungarians are the cancer of the Slovak nation, without delay we need to remove them from the body of the nation." (Új Szó, 15 April 2005)
  3. ^ Wolfram Nordsieck. "http://www.parties-and-elections.de/slovakia.html". Parties-and-elections.de. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  4. ^ "Human Rights-Slovakia". Ipsnews.net. 26 June 2009. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  5. ^ Stručne o SNS.[dead link]
  6. ^ Auer, Stefan (2004). Liberal nationalism in Central Europe. Contemporary Russia and Eastern Europe 1.. Routledge. p. 44. ISBN 9780415314794. "Miroslav Sladek in the Czech Republic and Jan Slota in Slovakia stand out as two leaders of extreme nationalist parties who..." 
  7. ^ Jeffries, Ian (2002). Eastern Europe at the turn of the twenty-first century. Routledge. p. 352. ISBN 9780415236713. "Slovak National Party: led by Jan Slota. Extreme nationalist" 
  8. ^ P. Ramet, Sabrina (1997). Whose democracy?: nationalism, religion, and the doctrine of collective rights in post-1989 Eastern Europe. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 128. ISBN 9780847683246. "...Meciar established his 1994 coalition government with the extreme-nacionalist Slovak National Party (SNS, led by Ján Slota, mayor of Zilina..." 
  9. ^ a b "International Herald Tribune's article about Hungarian-Slovak relations". International Herald Tribune. 29 March 2009. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  10. ^ a b "Official Results: Slovak Ultra-Nationalists Grab Seat In EU Vote". Nasdaq.com. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  11. ^ Cas Mudde (2005). Racist extremism in Central and Eastern Europe. Routledge. p. 314. ISBN 9780415355933. Retrieved 2009-05-22. 
  12. ^ Zoltan D. Barany (2002). The East European gypsies: regime change, marginality, and ethnopolitics. Cambridge University Press. p. 408. ISBN 9780521009102. Retrieved 2009-05-22. 
  13. ^ "The Steven Roth Institute: Country reports. Antisemitism and racism in Slovakia". Tau.ac.il. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  14. ^ a b "HUMAN RIGHTS-SLOVAKIA: Barriers Go Up For Abortion". Ipsnews.net. 26 June 2009. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  15. ^ "BBC: Europe diary: Franco and Finland – section Slovak Nationalism". BBC News. 6 July 2006. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  16. ^ "European Roma Rights Centre". Errc.org. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  17. ^ "Slovakia's new rulers, strange bedfellows". Isn.ethz.ch. Retrieved 10 January 2011. [dead link]
  18. ^ Kristina Mikulova's (Financial Times) article on the pages of CEPA[dead link][dead link]
  19. ^ a b Mudde, Cas (2005). Racist extremism in Central and Eastern Europe. Routledge. p. 198. ISBN 9780415355933. 
  20. ^ a b SMER suspended from PES political family, Party of European Socialists, 12 October 2006
  21. ^ "PES REHABILITATES FICO'S SMER PARTY. (Party of European Socialists meeting)". 22 February 2008. Retrieved 7 July 2009. 
  22. ^ Z politiky neodchádzam, tvrdí Slota
  23. ^ "By hook or crook, Slovak EU funds find their way to govt supporters". Businessneweurope.eu. 18 June 2009. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  24. ^ Official results at http://www.europarl.europa.eu/parliament/archive/elections2009/en/slovakia_en.html
  25. ^ "Voľby do Národnej rady Slovenskej republiky". Volbysr.sk. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  26. ^ a b c d e Beata Balogová. "People often get what they want, not what they need – The Slovak Spectator". Spectator.sk. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  27. ^ "Törölték Magyarországot Slota pártjának térképéről". Origo.hu. 31 January 1999. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  28. ^ "Slotáék törölték Európa térképéről Magyarországot". Hvg.hu. 1 January 1970. Retrieved 15 October 2011. 
  29. ^ Letörölték Európa térképéről Magyarországot Slotáék[dead link]
  30. ^ Szétosztották hazánk területét Ján Slota pártjának honlapján, Magyar Hírlap, 16 April 2008. (reach: 16-4-08)
  31. ^ "Forgive and forget?". The Slovak Spectator. 11 February 2008. Retrieved 6 August 2008. 
  32. ^ Lukáš Fila. "Prezidentská kampaň Slovakia warns of worsening relations after Gyurcsany resignation". Spectator.sk. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  33. ^ "The journalist's dilemma: how to report Ján Slota". The Slovak Spectator. 13 October 2008. Retrieved 4 November 2008. 
  34. ^ "Jan Slota büszke rá, hogy megvert egy magyart". Index.hu. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  35. ^ "Slota megvert egy magyart". Fn.hu. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  36. ^ "Belousovová dala v parlamente facku Matovičovi". Sme.sk. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  37. ^ Stephen White, Judy Batt, Paul G. Lewis (2007). Developments in Central and East European politics 4. (4 ed.). Duke University Press. p. 63. ISBN 9780822339496. "Slovakia's nationalist politicians, most notably the Slovak National Party's Ján Slota, stoke up anti-Hungarian sentiment" 
  38. ^ DPA (21 March 2009). "Slovakia warns of worsening relations after Gyurcsany resignation". Earthtimes.org. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  39. ^ a b "Chaos, Corruption and Extremism – Political Crises Abound in Eastern Europe". Der Spiegel. 29 May 2007. Retrieved 20 April 2008. 
  40. ^ "New Slovak Government Embraces Ultra-Nationalists, Excludes Hungarian Coalition Party". Hhrf.org. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  41. ^ ÚJ SZÓ online[dead link]
  42. ^ "Separatist Movements Seek Inspiration in Kosovo". Der Spiegel. 22 February 2008. Retrieved 6 August 2008. 
  43. ^ "The Stephen Roth institute, Country reports: Slovakia 1999–2000". Tau.ac.il. Retrieved 15 October 2011. 
  44. ^ Ingyen nevezte fasisztának a Szlovák Nemzeti Pártot Duray Miklós Origo
  45. ^ "A Fair Play Szövetség jogásza szerint az SNS hiába vár pénzt Duray Miklóstól". Duray.sk. Retrieved 15 October 2011. 
  46. ^ No Compensation for SNS Over Fascism Comments TheDaily.sk
  47. ^ "Nem kell Duraynak fizetni, amiért lefasisztázta Slotáék pártját". Hirado.hu. Retrieved 15 October 2011. 
  48. ^ Slotát megvádolták, hogy kettős állampolgárHVG

External links[edit]