Slovakia: top politicians get into fistfight

In Slovakia, a brawl broke out between former prime minister Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) and former interior minister Robert Kaliňák (Smer) in the run-up to the country's parliamentary elections on 30 September. Matovič tried to disrupt a press conference being held by former prime minister Robert Fico, after which Kaliňák tried to snatch the microphone from Matovič while the latter was sitting in his car. Finally, the police intervened. A video of the tussle went viral. The national press is horrified.

Open/close all quotes
Denník N (SK) /

Not good news

The images of the two top politicians coming to blows with each other are a disgrace, Denník N puts in:

“Instead of proposing ideas for improving Slovakia, a former prime minister and a former interior minister engage in a fistfight. It's enough to drive you to despair. You can't have a normal debate in such an atmosphere. ... The only positive moment in the altercation was when the police appeared on the scene. ... The video is already going viral, but it won't help Matovič to win the elections. He comes across as a troublemaker, while Kaliňák comes across as a thug who solves problems with violence. But most importantly, the video is proof of where Fico, Kaliňák and Matovič have led Slovakia. And that is not good news.”

Pravda (SK) /

Just get rid of them

Under no circumstances should such infantile behaviour be rewarded in the election, Pravda admonishes:

“It doesn't matter who was right and who was wrong. This is a question for the police or the courts. What this incident does show is that both Matovič's OĽaNO party and Fico's Smer - together with Kaliňák - belong on the scrap heap of political history. Or rather, in some tawdry taproom. There is more than enough room there for fools and power-crazy people who like to 'sort out' problems with their fists. But instead of kicking them out, a significant part of our society puts these people on a pedestal and is preparing to smuggle them into parliament. What a great idea, Slovakia!”