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Slovak Far-Right Party Doesn’t Know its Geography

Facebook users mocked a People's Party Our Slovakia photo located on the wrong Tatra peak. 

4 July 2017

Hitchhikers from the People's Party Our Slovakia (LSNS) have learned the hard way about the importance of fact checking before posting on social media. At the end of June, a Facebook post on the organization’s page showed a number of party members, some of them wearing the party’s trademark green shirts, on their way up to and on the summit of a mountain identified as Krivan (measuring 2,495 meters, or 8,186 feet) in the High Tatras.

 

The hundreds of comments that followed were, however, quick to point out that the photo op actually took place on a different summit of a similar name, namely Velky Krivan. This led some people to jokingly imply that the party members had trouble using their GPS.

 

Photo from the ascent to Krivan. Image via the LSNS Facebook page.

 

To make things worse, the post was accompanied by the claim that “we are proud of Slovak traditions and we continue them,” along with a short history of Slovak nationalists who also climbed Krivan.

 

The party’s days might be numbered if an initiative to ban it succeeds.  A spokeswoman for Prosecutor General Jaromir Cizmar confirmed to EURACTIV.sk that the office has asked the Supreme Court to ban LSNS as an extremist group, on the grounds that its activities violate the country´s constitution. A recent poll by the SITA agency showed 68.5 percent of the respondents in favor of outlawing the party, with 18.6 percent against, SME.sk reported.

 

 

  • Krivan and Velky Krivan stand 60 kilometers away from each other; the latter has an altitude of 1,709 and is located in Mala Fatra.

 

 

  • The strong showing of LSNS – which won 8 percent of the vote and gained 14 seats in the 150-member parliament – came as a shock. Not long ago its leader, Marian Kotleba was parading around in a uniform modelled on that of the Hlinka Guard, the militia of the 1939-45 Nazi-sponsored Slovak State, as he spewed anti-Roma, anti-immigration vitriol.

 

  • According to national polls, their support now stands at about 11 percent, which is significant in light of regional elections this autumn, when Kotleba will defend his position as governor.

 

  • A newly formed Slovak movement is challenging one of the party’s strongholds in central Slovakia, TOL columnist Martin Ehl wrote in May. Members of the group have been journeying to the regions where neo-Nazis got most of their votes, to discuss the dangers of a fascist revival with people who feel forgotten by politicians.
Compiled by Crystal Tai
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