Internet platform for studying Xenophobia, Radicalism and Problems of Intercultural communication.

Xenophobic Rhetoric

Xenophobic Rhetoric Marian Kotleba is an ultra-right-wing Slovak politician, leader of the People's Party "Our Slovakia", governor of the Bansko-Bystrica Territory (2013).

Most of such incidents were aimed against Roma.

On February 20, 2014, leader of the far right “Our Slovakia” party M. Kotleba met with the Hungarian Ambassador to discuss “gypsy crime”. Meanwhile, Bystrica city administration published a video that glorified the fascist Slovak state and Kotleba himself discussed ways to “eliminate a certain ethnic group” on Facebook.

During the parliamentary election campaign, candidate to the Kosice city council Vladimir Gurtler , balloting from the area heavily populated by the Romani people, posted anti-Roma posters. Leader of the regional party called Seven Courageous offered to give Roma a free one-way ticket to Brussels and 10 thousand euros to Roma woman who undergo sterilisation.

Chairman of the Slovak National Party, Andrei Danko accused the leading politicians in the country stating that they deliberately exploited “Malinova’s case” to take advantage of the election campaign and acted not in the interests of Slovakia, but in their own. On June 2nd A. Danko, protesting against the plan of P. Chaki regarding Hungarian autonomy, said that Hungarian autonomy in Slovakia is unnecessary, since the Hungarians already have the access to socio-political, economic and cultural-historical development, while there is a real danger of assimilation for the Slovaks in Hungary.

In December 2014, NGO Roma House published its monitoring report called “Roma, journalists and media”“ Authors of the report, led by Martin Gonda, analysed 899 media reports related to the Roma community in Slovakia between July 1 and November 30. 12% of these contained stereotypical prejudices, most of which were related to high crime rate and poor social behaviour among the Roma. Most prejudice was observed in TV and online news reports. Local media focuses on Roma the most – 20% in cities and 9% in city areas” Integration of Roma was covered only by 2% of media reports. Thus, Slovak media exploits the established negative image of the Roma community, which contributes to the high level of prejudice in the society.

In July, the inquiry into the former RTVS sports news host Kristina Kormutova has concluded. On May 21, the popular TV presenter posted an anti-Roma comment on her Facebook page. “I woke up at 4:30 from a noise, as if a massive beam fell on my head and some smelly gypsy is stealing a four-metre drainpipe from my house. Why can’t we shout them like parasites? Why? Let nobody call me racist. Because they have nothing!!!" After a wave of criticism, author removed her status and apologised. “I sincerely apologise for these hasty statements, which emerged in the heat of passion and are incompatible with my personal beliefs.” She was soon sacked from television. Prosecution did not find grounds for criminal investigation”

During the parliamentary election campaign in Slovakia in March 2016, even moderate parties used anti-immigrant rhetoric in the hope of capturing some of the far-right votes. This strategy backfired as far-right politicians took their seats in parliament for the first time since the fall of communism. Since the summer of 2015, migration has been at the center of a sharp political struggle that has affected relations between the countries of Central Europe, the EU institutions and the states of Western Europe.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, a self-proclaimed social democrat, has taken the most radical anti-migration stance. At campaign rallies for his Smer-SD (Social Democrats) party, he warned that thousands of terrorists were arriving in Europe hiding among migrants. He stressed to supporters that no one from outside could dictate that Slovakia should take in "tens of thousands of migrants" (a figure not confirmed by the EU). He stated that he would not like to have "solid Muslim communities" in Slovakia, as they cannot be properly integrated into Slovak society on the grounds that they are too diverse.

Government officials have said that the most that would be possible for Slovakia would be to accept a small number of Christian migrants. Even this modest statement provoked a backlash from Fico's home village of Hrušovany, where residents protested against the settlement of 10 members of a group of 150 Iraqi Assyrian Christians brought to Slovakia by a Christian charity.

In January 2020, Milan Mazurek, a member of the extremist party Kotleba - People's Party Our Slovakia (LSNS), was fined 10,000 euros in September after a court ruled that he had made racist remarks about Roma in an interview local radio in 2016. Shortly after the sentencing, former Prime Minister Robert Fico came to Mazurek's defense. “Milan Mazurek only said what almost the entire nation thinks,” said Fico, leader of the ruling SMER-SD party. “If you execute someone for the truth, you will make him a national hero. Should we be afraid to say that a part of the Roma is abusing the social system?”

In 2019 - 2020 Marian Kotleba, the leader of Our Slovakia, has repeatedly made anti-Roma and neo-Nazi appeals. He called the Roma parasites and in the past admired the leader of the puppet regime in Slovakia during World War II, Josef Tiso. In October 2020, he was found guilty and sentenced to 4 years and 4 months in prison for giving checks worth 1,488 euros ($1,756) to three poor families in 2017. The number 1488 has symbolic meaning to neo-Nazis and white supremacists as it refers to the 14-word racist slogan and the Nazi salute "Heil Hitler". ", which starts with the eighth letter of the alphabet. The court agreed with the prosecution's argument that the racist references were deliberate.

There have been instances of government officials at all levels slandering minorities and making derogatory comments about Roma. In July 2021, the aforementioned former prime minister and chairman of the opposition Smer party, Robert Fico, denounced the financial incentives put in place by the government to encourage COVID-19 vaccination, saying that they would benefit mainly the Roma and stating that "Roma in gypsy settlements are already rubbing their hands."

In September 2021 , Pope Francis visited the Lunik IX housing estate in Kosice, home to the country's largest Roma population of more than 4,000, with a significant proportion of the residents facing poverty and poor living conditions. The visit provoked a wave of racist comments on social networks, as well as from politicians directed against the gypsy communities living in Lunica IX

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