Slovakia: Opposition to far right comes too late?

A new police unit has been set up in Slovakia to combat terrorism and extremism - particularly on social networks. Prime Minister Robert Fico has said that his country had underestimated the force of the "new wave" of fascism and extremism. The country's newspapers welcome the measure but criticise that it comes too late to counter the neo-Nazis in parliament.

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Pravda (SK) /

Enemies of democracy too well established

A special police task force dedicated to fighting far right-wing extremism should have been set up long ago, Pravda rails:

“It took so long to establish this special unit because no one knew how to define 'far right'. Ideologically blind former interior ministers are to blame for that. The result is that 15 ridiculous Stalin supporters are being viciously attacked in the social media while Marian Kotleba's far-right party is sitting in parliament, duly elected by more than 200,000 voters. The party is benefiting from the very democracy it aims to destroy. A further consequence is that Slovakia is one of the European countries in which very few people take to the streets to show their opposition to fascism. Now it's too late to destroy the far right's logistical power bases. Kotleba's members of parliament are getting a real kick out of the threat that they will face small fines for their hate tirades.”

Hospodárske noviny (SK) /

Far right conceals its true intentions

In view of the government's new efforts, Hospodárske noviny warns readers not to be fooled by the extreme right:

“Worried about fines, the Kotleba party has promised to put an end to its fascist tirades in parliament. Hurray! But parliament can't beat the fascists because it doesn't have the means to. Members of parliament are practically invulnerable, and they have the right to speak freely. ... Today it's enough to simply remove the words 'destruction of democracy' from the party's programme. Kotleba has learned from past mistakes and respects democracy - at least on paper. However you can't identify a party as extremist or fascist just because it has an anti-democratic programme. Even the German Nazi party had nothing in its programme about a war of aggression, let alone about genocide.”