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Tódová, Monika

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Sme - Slovakia | 25/03/2008

The commemoration of anti-communist protests unites Slovakia

Twenty years ago, thousands of Slovaks protested with candles on the streets of Bratislava against the oppression of religious freedom and for more civil rights. This was the first Slovak uprising against the communist dictatorship. Slovakia's conservative opposition and the main ruling party, Smer, led by Prime Minister Robert Fico, which otherwise tend to be hopelessly at odds with one another about Slovakia's history, are demonstrating an unusually united front on the occasion of the anniversary of the protests: Smer plans to give a commemorative declaration by the opposition its unconditional support. Monika Tódová comments: "If Smer didn't endorse the opposition's proposal, the party would discredit itself. By showing support for the opposition to the former communist regime, the party can allay suspicions that it feels a certain amount of nostalgia for the old regime, as some of the speeches delivered by its leading politicians would seem to indicate."

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