Sunday, November 05, 2006

There's a lot a to Slota

The Informant has been giving its reader, oops, sorry, legions of readers, little snippets about some of the characters who hold power in these parts. One is Jan Slota, the leader of the Slovak National Party, and part of the coalition government led by Prime Minister Robert Fico. Slota has a gift for the gab of the extremist sort. He has said he would kick the Hungarians out of Slovakia across the Danube River back to their original home. Talk like that has stirred up not the most neighborly feelings between these... neighbors, whose ties go back hundreds of years, when Slovaks lived up the Magyar yoke and bad blood simmers just below the surface. Just how ugly things have gotten between Slovaks and Hungarians was brought home when Slovak skinheads brutally beat up a Hungarian woman who they overheard speaking her native tongue on her mobile phone. The inclusion of Slota in the Slovak government has many a commentator and bureaucrat in Brussels all a flitter. It's also come with a price for Prime Minister Fico and his "Smer" or "Direction" Party. Smer was recently given the boot by their comrades among the European democratic socialist parties. That's the first time any Socialist-associated party has been blacklisted by the group. Ouch!

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