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Šimecka, Martin M.

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3 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.

Gazeta Wyborcza - Poland | 29/10/2007

The role of the EU in the conflict between Slovakia and Hungary

A dispute over the expulsion of Hungarians from Czechoslovakia after World War II has been brewing between Slovakia and Hungary for some time. In a commentary, Martin M. Šimecka, the Slovakian chief editor of the Czech weekly Respekt, writes: "A conflict of national interests between two EU member states can put the strength of the idea on which the Union is based to the test. Up to now the Slovaks and Hungarians have behaved in a way that flouts the central idea of the EU, without being punished for doing so. What's more, if worst comes to the worst they are relying on the Union to somehow solve their problems. It's even possible that both states have intensified their battle against each other since they no longer have only themselves or their own armies to depend on. Paradoxically, their faith in Brussels has only served to escalate the situation."

Respekt - Czech Republic | 02/04/2007

Is Slovakia's Hungarian minority becoming more radical?

The Hungarian Coalition Party of Slovakia surprisingly elected a new leader last weekend. The longstanding party chairman Bela Bugar was forced to cede his post to Pal Csaky. With Csaky's election the party's more radical faction, which demands a greater degree of autonomy, has become stronger. The newspaper's editor in chief Martin M. Simecka, formerly head of the Slovak daily Sme, talks of a "bad weekend that gave no cause for celebration. ... Bugar was highly respected by all. It was because of him that even Slovaks who were desperately seeking someone they could trust voted for the Hungarian Party. Bugar is charismatic, has a sense of humour and speaks excellent Slovak. ... As a politician he was unusually willing to make compromises and he kept his promises. After his defeat on Saturday he announced that he would retire from politics once his period in office ends. This is a loss for the entire country."

Sme - Slovakia | 08/02/2006

The breakdown of the Slovakian government

The dispute over a contract with the Vatican aimed at protecting Catholics against moral conflicts arising in their working lives led to the break-up of the Slovakian government yesterday. Early elections are now scheduled for July. According to editor-in-chief Martin M. Simecka, "this is the collapse not only of the government, but of an entire generation of politicians." That generation performed a great feat in 1998, when it defeated the nationalist government under Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar, who was regarded with growing suspicion in the West. "An era of social and economic modernisation began. Slovakia managed to become a member of both the EU and NATO. Once a black hole, it turned into a shining star." However, according to Simecka, Mikulas Dzurinda's government became increasingly incapable of meeting its own moral standards. "It succumbed to the illusion that economic rules could replace a moral conscience and justice."

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