Roma as target Slovakia campaign
The European socialists are disabled in their criticism of the right-wing EPP, which is a mean thing with the extreme right. Because in Slovakia, where parliamentary elections are being held on February 29, the comrades do the same. They follow the Nazi party LSNS (People’s Party Ons Slovakia) in a racist campaign against the Roma.
Ex-premier Robert Fico van de sociaaldemocratische Smer-SDis vorige maand in beschuldiging gesteld wegens aansporing tot rassenhaat en het goedpraten van een misdaad. Fico had het op Facebook namelijk opgenomen voor Milan Mazurek die eerder uit het parlement was gezet wegens racistische uitlatingen tegen de Roma. Mazurek is lid van de LSNS die zeer actief campagne voert tegen “de criminele Roma die profiteren van de sociale zekerheid”.
“Mazurek has only said what the whole nation thinks,” Fico had said. “Should we be afraid to say that part of the Roma is abusing our social system?” Several party members supported him, calling the charges against Fico a witch hunt. Because many of those Roma only make children to get support, according to these “social democrats”. Who just think that the Roma children in the schools should sit in separate classes.
Last year, a request had been submitted to the Supreme Court to ban the LSNS as a racist party. However, the prosecutor ruled that that party only defends a policy that is in line with that of the Slovak government. The court followed that reasoning.
Taking the Roma as scapegoat in election campaigns is not new. This was already happening on a large scale in the 1990s. In the 2010s, the Roma made way for the migrants from the Middle East. But now that they have stayed away, the Roma have taken their place again as scapegoats.
LSNS starts the rush. The party systematically travels to places where a Roma recently committed some crime to fuel the racist fire. The Smer-SD counts on being able to keep voters away from the far right by blowing fire, with the risk of course that voters prefer the more radical original. According to polls, Smer-SD could count on 18 to 19 percent, LSNS on 12. In Slovakia, the publication of polls is now prohibited until 50 days before the elections.
The Smer-SD and Fico in particular were also in the news in the spring of 2018. The investigation into the murder of journalist Jan Kuciak and his partner exposed 25-year-old ties between politics, business and Italian Mafia groups.
The government tried to calm the minds with the resignation of the Minister of the Interior. But after mass attacks against the government, Fico resigned in April. He was succeeded by Peter Pellegrini, also Smer-SD. The government also includes the right-wing nationalist SNS and a party of the Hungarian minority, Most-Hid.
Not found on the left
The Smer-SD bit in the sand last year during the presidential elections. Her candidate, EU Commissioner Maros Sefcovic, lost to Zuzana Caputova, a lawyer for the liberal ‘Progresivne Slovensko’. Together with another liberal group, it could count on almost 10%, just as much as the conservative “Common People” list and the “For the People” party of former President Andrei Kiska.
There is also the Christian Democratic KDH (6%), the right-wing anti-migrant party sme-Rodina (5%) and another party of the Hungarian minority, around 5%, as much as Most-Hid and the right-liberal SaS ( “Freedom and solidarity”). Left is not on the card. Because one can hardly call Smer-SD a left-wing party, even center-left is already too much honor. But the European socialists do make peace with it.