November 2007

SNS and Jan Slota´s Boils
Alive in Bystrica, Dead in Heaven
Which of your planned projects need help from the European Funds?
Has the government supported such an activity?
Ecumenism disrupted by Hungarian policy
Lajčák versus Serbs but who will do the dirty job?
Everyone has its government, parliament and police
Lajčák´s purges and accusations without evidence
Reforms of the police ended in failure
Ultimatum for adopting a new law
Serbians Protests
They require PIC for guarantees for equality
They ask to cancel Lajčák´s competences
International community supports Lajčák, Russia is worried
Dead and alive bodies thrown into the Tisza and Danube
Shadow of Schengen Great Hungarianism
Kepiro dodging his punishment
Raid in South Báčka
Other needless victims

SNS and Jan Slota´s Boils
The Slovak National Party claiming that its historical task and duty are to attempt to lead Slovakia out of material, social but also spiritual decline, started stagnating after a year of its coalitional governing together with the parties such as SMER - SD and ĽS - HZDS. Its ambitious and modern national agenda of revival of Slovakia that addressed votes from younger and middle- aged generations, had remained a vision only and it did not become a political bible of the party leaders. Instead of dynamism, we are witnessing that the party is kept within themes and issues that do not push Slovakia up neither they change thinking of its citizens. Rhetoric full of screaming and hysteria of its leaders has remained on the level of the 1990s and it has features of a pub?-?like intellectual and scientific disputes. Unfortunately, it is still true that SNS is not representing Slovak intelligence and does not attract brains to become its members. It is not the machinery of modern national politics; it creates neither concept nor perspective. It is the worst handicap of its leaders that are so proud of their historical tradition of the oldest Slovak political party. Unfortunately, it proclaims that only formally. So far, their national thinking, knowledge of national history and political culture has not been sufficient to be able to reach aristocrats of spirit and personalities of SNS who enriched this mainly evangelic party until its fusion with the catholic Hlinka´s Slovak Popular Party in 1938. If they were capable, we would feel not only that heritage but also their courage to continue in tradition of Milan Hodža, Martin Rázus or its founder Viliam Paulíny - Tóth. However, the truth is rather different these days and the representatives of SNS just pretend being leaders of our nations, they are not even their spoilt copies...
The Party is not able to make essential statements on crucial national, historical, European, economic or cultural issues. Even though, those proclaimed ones are poor or vague. Their initiation to accept the law on Andrej Hlinka and memorial ceremony on the 100th anniversary of tragedy in Černová is rather creditable, however, what means did it use? How did it attempt to pursue? By shouting and arguing with Hungarian MP in the parliament? Or competing with KDH and showing off who is more “national”? Why did SNS not present the legacy of Andrej Hlinka, his works, why did not they come up with propagation of Christianity, love, tolerance and reconciliation? What is the law for if it has no soul? How does SNS commemorate and show esteem to all victims in the south of Slovakia after the first and second arbitrage in Vienna or victims of Horthy´s regime? SNS will only weep and yell. But when will it organize something that will be the starting point of new Slovak- Hungarian relations? Or is it too much for SNS? For its powers?
Just take notice of their foreign policy. There is none. Leaders of the party are not courageous enough to communicate away from Slovakia; they are unable to find its stable foreign partners and are bleeding because of their disability to build up new image and different image and reputation it yearned because of scandalous exclamations of Jan Slota. This, nowadays, the second most popular politician in Slovakia has not been courageous so far to travel to Brussels and Strasburg where he would explain the agenda and policy of SNS within the governmental coalition, where he would disprove SMK´s arguments and accusations of being a racist, xenophobic and fascistic party… Although he claims that Mr Fico is his friend, he has never given him a hand abroad. Neither, he helped Slovakia.
SNS has found itself in the personal and concept impasse over past years; it is represented only by its three ministers. After a year they are managing the resorts of education, environment, construction and regional development awkwardly and senselessly. They seem to be frightened and insignificant, reminding rather of initiators of “bury hand in the sand” and “live a hand-to mouth existence” policies. The public knows nothing about their conceptions and priorities. Mr Janušek has fallen out with the representatives of the self- governing regions; they blame him for centralism and disability to start up regional development. Mr Izák, are you alive? What are you paid for? If there were no bast- worms in the Tatras, there would be no occasional press conferences. Mr Mikolkaj, however, is trying to sort out problems at least, and he puts a lot of pressure but who will support his conception of development of school and education and thus build a knowledge based economy? We only know them and their philosophies being criticized by the opposition and mainly by the Hungarian coalition.
If SNS wants to survive in the politics, it has to wake up and begin working and open to the public. Opinion polls giving them preferences of 10 to 11 per cent do not guarantee that the party will succeed in the next election. They will have to revise the results of their governing policy which have not been extraordinary, so far. It is obvious that the party will also have to build up its structures in the south of Slovakia where they have very few communal MPs and politicians. Moreover, they will have to persuade younger generation. Claiming that South Slovakia belongs to the agenda of the SMK is very irresponsible and senseless. It is not true that Slovaks are the majority in that part of Slovakia. It is the other way round, South Slovakia is a challenge for SNS, and it reflects its national and civil policy that is being proclaimed, in written form at least. Billions from the European Funds, which the party wants to manage almost on their own, give them a great opportunity to avoid mistakes having been made by the SMK and thus prove that they do not support policy of Kosovo in south Slovakia. All people need that money, not only Slovaks and Hungarians.

Róbert Matejovič, editor in chief

Alive in Bystrica, Dead in Heaven
“We do not intend to build up a megapolis, it is only economic connection of two independent cities into geographical and industrial common space where 200 000 inhabitants will live in Banská Bystrica, Zvolen, Sliač and surrounding villages,“ says Ivan Saktor, Mayor of Banská Bystrica, about the philosophy of forming the third metropolis in Slovakia.

Banská Bystrica, the heart of Central Slovakia, has almost 80 000 inhabitants. History claims that this town has never been large but always important. The establishment and development of an originally Slovak village of Bystrica depended on mining of copper, iron and silver, Slovak and German colonists and miners who began building it in the 13th century as an important town of mining and crafts. At the end of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th century, the town became the leader in production and trading copper thanked to Thurzo- Fugger Copper Company that was based in the town from 1495 to 1540. Later, Banská Bystrica became a significant centre of Protestants, anti- Habsburg and mining uprisings in the Hungarian Kingdom. Since the end of the 18th century, it was one of the main centres of Slovak national life, education and culture. Its wonderful cultural heritage includes 263 buildings, fine art masterpieces and technical sights, the oldest of them are 700 years old.
Mr Saktor, when you were appointed, your main priority was to stop stagnation of the city and organize it. Have you already gone thorough this phase? Which changes did you have to do? What did you find most difficult?
Eight- year stagnation cannot be stopped as quickly as it is known from the economy. Good news for the city, me and city representatives is that we have sorted out the old liabilities. While talking about continuity and readiness of the city, we are handicapped as all the processes need preparation phase and consequently, they can be carried out. If the town had been preparing continuously in the field of development, we would have been able to start some activities immediately- for example, in the field of investment in constructions, which is important for communal politics, however, it did not happen. Fruit of our work might become visible at the beginning of the next year. This year has been a phase of preparation of what was not here.
In terms of city cleanness, we adopted some measures, and I think that citizens respond much more positively to what has been done. Our ambition is to find such a system of communal politics that would touch citizens as much as possible so that they were satisfied with cleanness and services.

In your opinion, is Banská Bystrica a close or an open city? How do you evaluate its credit abroad? I think, in terms of openness or closeness, Banská Bystrica does not differ from other cities and towns, although I must say that our weakness is poor PR (Public Relations). Something might have been done in the past as well (What I cannot judge) but there were hardly any “sales” and “propagation” in media. What means that it is the issue of respond in media as well as abroad. I have information that that city did not take part in the international exhibitions, that it was not advertised as a city of future development, it was conservative in that field. Based on my experience, comparable cities and town were much more active.

In Slovakia your town has a reputation of “always red and partisan town” with delicious gastronomy… How do you perceive such opinions?
I do not fully agree with such proclamation. The town is not “red”, although a lot of citizens are of social democratic feelings. Obviously, the city has its history I am really proud of. It is the history of the Slovak national uprising that must be recognized and honoured. I think there are some traces and I am trying to use them in positive way.
The fact is that the city is green. Banská Bystrica has been a town over centuries where it was said: “Alive in Bystrica, Dead in Heaven…” It is a parallel with the fact that the town was always clean, tidy, people came to relax here. And this is exactly our philosophy to the future. We want Banská Bystrica to return to minds of Slovak people that it is the town which they must visit at least once a year.

You have begun forming the city as a successor and centre of tourism, education, culture, administration, entrepreneurship, investment and economic development. Successor, from philosophical point of view, might also mean that you are only at the beginning trying to create something basic for someone else who would continue developing it. What does you philosophy involve?
I think it makes sense because Banská Bystrica is a unique city placed in such an area that makes it a natural centre of tourism. It has all necessary attributes in the area of 20 kilometres- summer and winter sports, caves and spas. Its status of “a successor” is based on using its infrastructure and location to attract people. All that Banská Bystrica offers can be an offer to everyone who visits our town. Of course, it requires communication with nearby villages and towns but, all in all, it is the philosophy of the third metropolis. What kind of superstructure do you pursue? Which long-termed projects are involved in it? Is the city a key player and initiator?
My philosophy is that the city should not “run a business” but the city should organize it. Banská Bystrica will be active in arranging entrepreneurial activities; we will create enough space for foreign investors and projects that will be profitable for us. Eventually, we will create such conditions so that investors stayed here and created a high quality surrounding for our citizens.

Which of your planned projects need help from the European Funds?
It is obvious that present times are unique. This is the period of programming of the EU that must be used, because Banská Bystrica like other towns and cities do not have enough of their own funds and sources. Uniqueness of the era is based on the fact that co?-?financing allows the city to deal with projects on a large scale. Banská Bystrica is now only in the preparation phase for the projects because it had been neglected in the past. However, I must approve that we have prepared projects for reconstruction of an open- air theatre, city park and roofed swimming pool.

What is the state of water supplies project according to which the bed of the river Hron will be moved underground, into a tunnel that would take water back to the Hron in the area of Radvaň in case the water level rises? This project has to protect city from “a hundred?-?year old floods”.
The essential idea of the proposed solution is to connect the river Hron (between river kilometre 177,649 and 173,189) by using a hydraulical tunnel with incoming and waste canals and thus avoid high level of river in the critical part of the Hron that flow through inhabited suburb of the town. The purpose of the proposed construction is focused on sustainable development of interests of the mentioned area in Banská Bystrica. Realization of the project is a part of the implementation of the Flood Protection Programme of the SR until 2010. At the moment, the construction is in the process of preparation works and carrying out state expertise according to the law no. 254/ 1998 collection of laws on public works.
A new industrial park is supposed to be built as well. When will it be completed and what will it be focused on?
The industrial park is a typical example of how it used to be in the town. In 2002, Banská Bystrica could have got sites/lands very easily. Unfortunately, previous leaders of the town had their own approaches and ideas and thus we found ourselves in the situation - when we started working for the town, we had no area for development of an industrial park. My agenda included the fact that Banská Bystrica cannot just remain the social, cultural and educational centre but there must be industry to help people earn for living. It means that we are interested in sophisticated production and that is why we began negotiations about purchasing back the area. We succeeded and now we have 40 hectares ready for the industrial park in the area of Majer?-?Šalková. We will be searching for funds to start its construction so that we were able to negotiate with investors in 2008. We want to discuss which kinds of production will be established in the park. We have an ambition not to have only “auxiliary” production in the park but also production with added value focused on science and research. We want citizens of Banská Bystrica to have jobs bringing them higher salaries.
Regarding the development of tourism, you support construction of a new aqua park near the lido swimming pool. However, what will be the superstructure of the town as a tourist centre?
The aqua park is a typical example of the project of joined private and public capital (PPP) where the town defends interests of the public sector. The town got involved in the project so that it had had a purchasing right for sites where the mentioned aqua park will be built. Thanks to it, we will be able to extend our offer in the field of tourism for inhabitants as well as for visitors of Banská Bystrica. We expect the new aqua park to serve public in the year 2009. Nevertheless, the unique geographical position of the city will remain cities main attraction providing facilities to go skiing, swimming and hiking. This year, we have open 86 kilometres of paths in the area of “Mestské lesy” (City Woods) - it is also one of the interesting offers. We opened a unique wood transport area under Kráľová studňa. These are the exact results of immediate initiatives so that Banská Bystrica became the centre of tourism in the region.
According to the town development strategy for the years 2007- 2013 that you prepared, Banská Bystrica will be developed as a part of a Central Slovak metropolis centre together with the city of Zvolen. What is the present state of building this centre, what is it based on? Will its result of economic connection of twin cities following the models of some American Twin Cities? Is it the way you present it to Slovak and foreign investors?
The beginning of your questions is exactly what we want to achieve. We do not intend to build up a megapolis, it is only economic connection of two independent cities into geographical and industrial common space where 200 000 inhabitants will live in Banská Bystrica, Zvolen, Sliač and surrounding villages. The basic philosophy is to create third metropolis centre in Slovakia. Bratislava is the capital city and the metropolis in the west part of Slovakia, Košice is the metropolis in the east and the third metropolis has to be in the central part of Slovakia by economic joining of Banská Bystrica, Zvolen and Sliač because Sliač is a town. What is essential is the fact that all the parties agreed on carrying out this step in cooperation with Banská Bystrica self- governing region that is the grant and creator of planning and financing. Our intension is to continue in this matter until the Slovak government rediscovers the law from 1996 on development of this metropolis centre. We are searching for all possible sources and ways to revive this project. It is very important for all who participated and for the entire agglomeration
Has the government supported such an activity?
After its completion by the commission of specialists, the project will be submitted to the Slovak government. Based on initial consultations, we assume the government to support this project.
What is the amount of investments in construction of a metropolis? How do you evaluate the interests of investors and entrepreneurs in this vision? Which opportunities do you offer?
The amount of investments is being estimated in this phase, a commission of specialists is working on it being supervised by Banská Bystrica self- governing region. As soon as we know financial covering for our ambitions, we will be able to talk about exact money. I reckon billions of crowns are necessary for such a project. Our common working group consisting of four parts has its task to make thing clearer what has already been done and identify crucial opportunities and attractive qualities of the sub- region. The results are analysed continuously paying attention to the priority of Economic and Social Development Program of Banská Bystrica.
The essential problem of the development of this new centre and the whole area is the transport infrastructure. You require to quicken works on the construction of road system via Žiar nad Hronom, beginning of works on a motorway connecting Ružomberok, Hriadeľské Sedlo, Banská Bystrica and continuing through Zvolen, Krupina, Šahy to the border with the Hungary. What is the statement of the Slovak government and the Ministry of Transport on your requirement?
Positive, for the time being. And things will carry on developing naturally.
The long- termed vision of the town says that in 30 years, i.e. in 2037, Banská Bystrica will become the leader of the Central Váh Region in the fields of education, culture, sports and health care. It does not read the town will be the economic leader of the region. Why?
I think that Banská Bystrica has never been an industrial centre except for the 1950s- the era of heavy industrialization. The town has always been a cultural, social and educational centre of the region. It is what history writes. Of course, the history mentioned industry as there was the first capitalistic enterprise for copper mining established in the region between Banská Bystrica, Kremnica and Banská Štiavnica in the Middle Ages. From historical point of view, there is some essence of industry but new era history never described Banská Bystrica as an industrial giant. Our city is rather administration?-?social- cultural and educational centre with some industry but not dominating.
It seems you do not accept anything but success. But what if entrepreneurs and investors do not support these intensions and visions? What will you do? What is their support like? How do you communicate with them?
It is necessary to point out that we are living in a positive era. Of course, not because I am a mayor, but because we are living in the period of economic conjuncture in Slovakia. Both banks and investors have enough funds. It is the question of communication skills to choose the right way how to speak to them and offer them a kind of business acceptable and profitable for city needs and structure and for investors. I consider short period on my post as very initiative from point of view of negotiations held with entrepreneurs and out coming projects connect with them which are more than real and will be carried out in the city. It is worth mentioning a project that had been neglected for a log time for completion of the bus station, reconstruction of City Hall which would serve the city as it used to in the past.
Are other housing areas planned to be built in the city and its surroundings?
Yes. We have the project for construction of apartment houses called Graniar and Belveder. These constructions are partially after area and building procedure. So, as I say, “crane boom” can be expected very soon. As I used to work in construction industry, I know, it might be rather distressing for people because of all that noise, dust and rumour around. But citizens of Banská Bystrica will have to get used to it, just for a while, and then they will see its result- positive and magnificent.
You find the candidacy of the city for the title of the European capital city of culture in 2013 within the project European capital cities of culture proclaimed by the Council of the EU as an important milestone in the city development. You have chosen BaBy born in Europe as a leading topic of your project. BaBy is not only a word pun (First two letters taken from the words Banská Bystrica) but predominantly an international and clearly understandable synonym for children’s character such as curiosity, playfulness, frankness, communication with no language barriers. Why this theme?
All in all, it is a great project managed by project designers. BaBy has its obvious meaning - we are new in Europe. Banská Bystrica is really a baby compared with other cities in Europe but we also based our project on the fact that we have what to say to “Old Europe”. We have strong European traditions. Children “lobbing” and supporting this project will be adults at the time we receive this title and I personally believe we will. It will be creative generation and sustainable development is what our project stands on.
Which projects and tourist- cultural attractions are you presenting in your candidacy?
The idea of the European capital city of culture is extraordinary and magnificent. We might never receive such an offer again. We are competing with other Slovak cities, and we are aware of it and we are trying to do our best to win the competition.
In case we win, I think, it will be trilling news for the entire region. Unlike other cities, we presented a regional project, i.e. all partner towns and cities of the region are getting involved from the whole Banská Bystrica self- governing region. It is all based on voluntary agreement level. I say that we have created “little Europe in region” because we agreed with district towns to communicate with us and play for Banská Bystrica as for their centre. And of course, afterwards, they will participate in results of this project. We are not egoists and our partner towns will enjoy fruit of our success, too.
Who is Mgr. Ivan Saktor?
He was born in Lučenec on 14th October 1954. He graduated from the Pedagogical Faculty of Comenius University in Bratislava. He has a master degree in social studies. He was a Chairman of the Confederation of Trade Unions for ten years. After graduating from the Secondary Technical School of Civil Engineering, he started his career as a workman of mechanical production. From 1977 to 1991, he worked in construction industry where he had gone from the post of construction technician, site manager up to deputy of production in the plant focused on construction and assembling production. In the communal election held in 2006, he was a mayor candidate for the coalition SMER - SD, SNS and Green Party in Slovakia.

Ecumenism disrupted by Hungarian policy
On October 4, 2007, the NAPS International Ecumenical Concert of Sacral Songs 2007 was held at the stage of Jonáš Záborský Theatre in Prešov. The event was organized by the civil association Peter Solej Foundation (Nadácia Petra Soleja - NAPS), the youngest author of scientific literature in cooperation with the Prešov City Council. Although the concert was under the patronage of Mrs Katalin Szili and Mr Pavol Paška, speakers of the national parliaments of Hungary and Slovakia, this year, the atmosphere was influenced by needless political tension in the Slovak- Hungarian relations.
It was caused by unfair policy of the Party of Hungarian Coalition (Strana maďarskej koalície) to the Slovak Government and rude behaviour of Hungarian President during his private visit in Komárno. Due to exaggerated criticism and protests against the resolution adopted by the Slovak National Council on indisputability of the post-war documents on the settlement of the conditions in the aftermath of World War II in Slovakia, Mrs Katalin Szili did not arrive in Prešov.

The group of four representatives of the Hungarian Parliament led by György Kerénvi, the State Secretary and Head of Speaker’s Office arrived instead. In addition to their one- hour late arrival to the City Council Hall to be invited officially, they had to face criticism of their Slovak colleagues for pretended solidarity with the SMK that as the only parliamentary party did not support the resolution of the Slovak Parliament and provided misleading information to Budapest and even to Brussels… What is more interesting, Archbishop Alojz Tkáš, Head of Roman Catholic See in Košice was not there, either. Well, he waited for them in the theatre. The main idea to get people together, to strengthen inter-religious dialogue and support mutual tolerance was politically smashed. And it might have influenced poor attendance of the public for whom wide screens were prepared on the square in front of the theatre.
350 invited guests took part including such people as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Hungary, Germany and Ukraine, hierarchs of five biggest Christian churches, a representative of a Jewish community, MPs, representatives of regional and local administration of the Prešov self- governing region.
Having followed the candidacy of Prešov for the title of the European capital city of culture 2013, the event was held in the metropolis of the biggest Slovak region. Cultural part of the program involved performances of St. Cecil’s Roman- Catholic chorus from St Elisabeth’s Cathedral, Chorus Comenianus of the Evangelic church from Košice, Greek- Catholic cathedral chorus of St John Baptist from Prešov, Quartet of reformed Christian church from Rimavská Sobota. Orthodox Cathedral chorus of St count Alexander Nevsky from Prešov and Mr Ervin Schönhauser, a singer of Jewish songs from Bratislava.
At the end of the concert, all visitors were blessed by Christian bishops and representatives of Jewish religious community, i.e. Alojz Tkáč, Roman- Catholic bishop in Latin language, Milan Krivda, Evangelic bishop, in Slovak language, Ján Babiak, Greek- Catholic bishop, in Slovak language, Géza Erdélvi, reformed Christian bishop in Hungarian language, Orthodox bishop Ján in Old Slavonic language and on behalf of Jewish rabbi Mr Ervín Schönhauser in Hebrew language.

Lajčák versus Serbs but who will do the dirty job?

Uncertain Future of an artificial State of Bosnia and Herzegovina

The political tension caused by Lajčak´s proposals increased effectiveness of state bodies but it also reveals a disability of West to put a stop to Albanian pressure in order to declare independence of Kosovo and cannot eliminate growing tension in North Macedonia where Albanian guerrilla troops began to be organized against Serbian St Tsar Lazar Guard. Bosnian Serbs want to declare independence of the Republic of Serbia if West recognizes the independence of Kosovo. Russia is worried and does not support Lajčák.

The situation is getting worse in the west of Balkan. The policy of Balkan led by West, which is unable to decide and unite, including the EU and the USA, resulted in the split of Yugoslavia and wars in Balkan and now, it is heading to its new dimension. Diplomatic battle of Kosovo in which Russians supported Serbs- at last, causes not only prolongation of a final verdict about the future of this south Serbian province and borders of tolerance of Albanian and Islamic separatism in Europe but also its growth by new topics. Not only Serbian Sandžak but also North Macedonia, which is bordering with Kosovo, are waiting for the result. As West, the EU and the USA are unable to persuade Russia to support independence of Kosovo and its separation from Serbia, new play regarding the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BaH) begins.
By so-called reforms that would strengthen position and powers of central state bodies at the expense of two self- governing entities consisting of Bosnia and Herzegovina- the Republic of Serbia (49%) and Croatian- Muslim Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (51%). This state was created by Dayton Peace Treaty from the year 1995 that pursued Serbs to become its part. However, BaH cannot be claimed to be a standard confederation or a federal state. It is a result of American and western politicy which caused unlucky Srebrenica and ethnical purges but they were both against the division of Bosnia between Croatia and Serbia. Islamic lobby was so influential that it pursued its policy and West supported it- accepted Bosnians (Muslims) coming from Serbia and Croatia and being descendants of the Ottoman occupation of Balkan as a state forming nation. Just to set peace again…
Everyone has its government, parliament and police
And thus, these two entities have their own governments, parliaments and police in this strange and artificial state. Every nation pursues its own interests and solves its own problems in it. Serbs are politically, emotionally and historically attached to Serbia and Orthodox Church, Croatian are devoted to Croatia and Roman- Catholic Church and Bosnia has a close relation to Turkey, Islam and its most radical political leaders.
In the common central government, there is a rotating prime minister and nine ministers, Serbs, Croatians and Muslims (Bosnians- Croatians and Serbs) have three ministers each. In the state- wide parliament, they have 41 MPs, out of them, 14 are Serbs and Croatians and Bosnians have 27 MPs together. Their policy is supervised by the international protectorate- the Office of the High Representative of the international community in Bosnia and Herzegovina who is also the Extraordinary Plenipotentiary of the European Union in this state. Its main tasks are to supervise and pursue fulfilment of Dayton Peace Treaty and coordinate operation of the international organizations. It has a lot of powers; it can dismiss elected “unsuitable” representatives and implement various measures and laws.
Lajčák´s purges and accusations without evidence
There had been a relative peace and quiet in Bosnia and Herzegovina until Miroslav Lajčák, ambitious Slovak and pro- American diplomat, was appointed as the High Representative in summer 2007. His five predecessors (Swede Carl Bildt, Spaniard Carlos Westendorp, Austrian Wolfgang Petritschov, Briton Paddy Ashdown and German Christian Schwarz- Schilling) had not yet been able to pluck up the courage as Mr Lajčák was. Having been driven by his political goal- to assist during signing associational and stabilization agreement with the EU that could ensure European perspective of BaH, which has been stagnating for two years, he began working enthusiastically. He wanted to solve three significant issues that are the conditions for signing the agreement with Brussels: the cooperation with the International Tribune of the UN in Haag, the reforms of the police and the reforms in public broadcasting. First of all, he began sorting out the reforms in the police that is supposed to unify police troops in Serbian and Muslim- Croatian parts of the country, to solve, for example, the budget and management competencies on the state-wide and self- governing levels as well as the question of the name of the police in the Republic of Serbia. He started with personnel changes. He fired Dragomir Andan, the deputy of the Bosnian- Serbian police as he was suspicious of helping war criminals escape. He claimed he did so just based on the requests of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). According to Mr Lajčák, Mr Andan misused his power for activities connected with the network helping war criminals. However, he did not present evidence for his activities to the public; neither the Tribunal accelerated its procedures…
Other 35 Serbian policemen were dismissed with Mr Anden and their passports were taken. Mr Lajčák has ordered to take other 93 passport away and those people are being investigated regarding war crimes. They are all included in the list consisting of 810 persons who participated in massacre in Srebrenica. “ A lot of fired policemen were witnesses on trials with suspicious war criminals. Based on particular reasons, we presume they provided untruthful witnesses, “said Mr Lajčák and again, he did not submit any evidence, either. Instead of that, he announced that he had passed a few measures including the change of some laws in order to make investigation and judging of war criminals and those helping them to escape easier. One of the precautions is, for example, the change of criminal law that will enable the police to confiscate passports.
Reforms of the police ended in failure
Nevertheless, these changes did not solve the reforms of the police. Political leaders of all entities are still not able to make a decision. In Mr Lajčák´s opinion, this failure proves that political dynamism in Bosnia and Herzegovina is getting worse and worse. “The country has gone through evil election campaign with destabilizing rhetoric that brought the reforms in failure. Bosnian and Serbian politicians wished the collapse of the police reforms. However, we used all means to reach an agreement on the police reform. It is still necessary to approve and implement it. There is a need to change the paradigms of home political dynamism in order to find a solution so that the state could work and common institutions would be kept,“ Mr Lajčák emphasised. Between 2001 and 2005, he worked as an Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the SR in Serbia, Monte Negro, Macedonia and Albania. As the High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU by Javier Solano for referendum in Monte Negro in the years 2005 and 2006, he participated in the preparation of the agreement on arrangement of the relationships between Serbia and Monte Negro that has a reputation of mafia state under the protection of the EU and the USA.
Ultimatum for adopting a new law
Consensus about the arrangement of Bosnia so that it could move ahead as a united state does not exist. Serbs insist on keeping their Serbian Republic, Croatians are not satisfied with the existence of two entities and feel like having been reduced to a minority, Bosnians wish to cancel entities and support centralization of the country.
In the middle of October, Miroslav Lajčák declared that the only thing he can do it to prepare Bosnia for the European integration with more thorough implementation of Dayton Peace Treaty by using his special powers/ competences. On 19th October, 2007, he announced to take some measures to increase effectiveness of two main central bodies- government and parliament in order to eliminate passive obstruction of their sessions caused by absence of some representatives of one of the entity. Until now, the resolutions of the government could come to force only if they were approved by two ministers of each constitutional nation. The Slovak diplomat proposed to adopt the resolution by majority of present ministers and under the condition that at least one minister from each nation has to vote for it.
In case the state-wide parliament proposed changes in the agenda. According to the current agenda, the parliament can start its session only if 15 MPs are present ¸at least, five from the Republic of Serbia and at least 10 from Croatian – Muslim Federation. Lajčák´s bill says that the parliament can sit only if 22 MPs are present (regardless national specification) and resolutions will be valid under the condition that at least a third of present MPs from each entity voted for it. Mr Lajčák announced that the state-wide parliament had a deadline to pass these changes until 1st December 2007; otherwise he will pursue them in accordance with his mandate and powers.
Serbians Protests
This declaration initiated a stream of criticism and protests from the Serbian side. They feel endangered as Lajčák´s proposals have already been supported by Croatians and Bosnians. The biggest demonstration was held in Banja Luka, the capital of the Republic of Serbia on 29th October 2007. It was organized by a Serbian non- governmental association SPONA. Leaders of the most powerful parliamentary parties in the Republic of Serbia took part in demonstration to show their refusal of Miroslav Lajčák´s proposals.
Bosnian Serbs were also supported by Boris Tadič, Serbian President. He called Mr Lajčák to search for a compromise. He also declared that following Dayton Agreements, any significant change must be a consensus of all three ethnical groups. “The constitutional law in Bosnia is clearly defined by Dayton Peace Treaty and no decision can be made at the expense of one of people who are concerned,“ said Mr Tadič to the Agency Tanjug.
Vojislav Koštunica, Serbian Prime Minister, and his national supporters did not stay aside. They accused Mr Lajčák of liquidation of the Republic of Serbia. In his opinion, Lajčák´s proposals headed to “political power” that is attempting to change Dayton Agreements. The Union of Independent Social Democrats, the most powerful political parts of Serbians in Bosnia, threatened to withdraw its representatives from executive bodies of Bosnia and Herzegovina if Mr Lajčák does not withdraw proposed reforms of voting in the government and parliament. Declaration of the Parliament of the Republic of Serbia criticises Mr Lajčák
Right after demonstrations held in all 63 municipalities of the Republic of Serbia, the national parliament of the Serbian Republic met. On 30th October 2007, it passed the Declaration to Lajčák´s Law on change and supplementation of the Law on the Council of Ministers of BaH (with the vote ratio of 77 to 6). According to the MPs, his proposal is not in accordance with Dayton Peace Treaty and its Amendment 4; it endangers the institutional order and democratic establishment of BaH, especially, the status of the Republic of Serbia and its representation in the institutions of BaH guaranteed by the constitution.
“Forced law, with its normative resolutions does not respect the constitutional system of BaH, based on which the procedure of election and decision- making on institutions and bodies of the government guarantees the parity of the entity, i.e. the parity of constitutional nations,“ the Declaration reads. In addition, it also states that the forced law derogates and causes harm to Bosnia and Herzegovina (having been established by the constitution), the election procedure, the way of decision- making, qualified majority, and decisions based on consensus so it is obvious that in fact it changes the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“The contents of the forced law distracts assured protection of interests of constitutional nations guaranteed by constitutional principles; not only by credit arrangements reflecting their interests but also by state bodies and the principles of their operation, i.e. unacceptable as such.“ He exceeded Dayton Competences
The text, which have been approved, states that Mr Lajčák´s decisions and requirements continued exceeding “Dayton Competences” by which he was appointed as a final authority for implementation of the agreement on civil realization of the peaceful resolution as well as all other competences enlarged by declarations and conclusions of the Peace Implementation Council during its meetings in Sintra, Madrid, Brussels and Bonn that do not give him competences of a constitutional institution.”
The National council is worried that: “The Office of the High Representative derogated its own interpretation in terms of the law on Council of Ministers of BaH and MPs of both Houses of the Parliament of BaH from 25th February 200 what creates environment full of danger and anxiety.“ Furthermore, the Declaration reads that the Republic of Serbia though its representatives will appeal to the General Secretary of the UN with the warning that Dayton/ Paris Treaty was violated by the High Representative and approved by the resolution BR UN no. 1746 from the 29th June 2007 and that the representatives of Bosnian and Croatian nations in their common bodies of BaH declaratively and unilaterally to back off the Agreement, i.e. its Amendment no. 4.
They require PIC for guarantees for equality
Requirements concerning the changes and completion of the rules of both houses of the Parliament Assembly of the Republic of Serbia for violation of the Constitution of BaH and those, in case of their approval, would endanger the constitutional position of the Republic of Serbia, or disruption of balance among constitutional nations implemented by constitutional mechanisms of BaH which is the one of the most important presumptions of stability and development of BaH. The Declaration reads that the MPs from the Republic of Serbia will always have to negotiate about improvements of activities of the Parliament of BaH, however, they cannot support such proposed changes. The National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia asks the Peace Implementation Council for additional guarantees concerning equality of entities and nations in BaH that is the basis of Dayton Treaty and must not be broken by one-side decisions of the High Representative, mainly not by changed rules of decision?-?making in the Council of Ministers and Parliamentary Assembly of the BaH.
Serbian MPs appeal to the witnesses of the Dayton Treaty (the EU, France, Germany, Russia, Great Britain and the USA) to support determined elected constitutional nations and citizens of BaH and entities to take responsibility for safe and sustainable future and development of BaH as a multinational, democratic and modern state on its way to the European and Euro-Atlantic integrations.
They ask to cancel Lajčák´s competences
The National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia is calling the House of Representatives and the House of Nations of the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina to support the initiative for “Bonn Competences” of the High Representative for BaH. They also appealed to the High Representative to set back usurped sovereignty that BaH need to fulfil its international liabilities and its integration to the EU and asked him to give up his competence to force amendments to the constitution, laws and to replace elected representatives of the government and people in civil service.
The Parliament of the Republic of Serbia asks the Peace Implementation Council to exclude from force the conclusions of the Peace Implementation Conference in Bohn on 9th and 10th December 1997 that causes a lot of misunderstandings and misuse while applying competences of High Representatives in BaH.
International community supports Lajčák, Russia is worried
Serbian MPs passed this declaration just before two-day meeting of the Management Committee in Sarajevo that, on the other had, did support Lajčák and his proposed changes. However, Russia did not and presented its worried about the increasing tension in Bosnia. “Reforms in this country should be carried out based on the consensus and the international community should be much stricter in following the plan of handing over the responsibility of the local institution for the situation in Bosnia,“ Russian ministry of foreign affairs stated.
After a declaration of the statement of IPC, Nikola Špirič, ethical Serb and prime minister of the central government, resigned. In his opinion, having reinforced Lajčák´s resolutions, the international community causes unwanted crisis because of Kosovo.
Meanwhile, the tension has been growing up in North Macedonia that borders with the province of Kosovo. On 31st October 2007, the Croatian State television broadcasted exclusive shots of Albanian guerrilla troops from the regions of Kumanovo in the north of Macedonia where they are gathering like defending forces and as a counterbalance of Serbs arming in the area. They are organized in St Tsar Lazar Guard. Albanians claim that local Macedonians are training with Serbian guards. And finally: On 24th October 2007, an incident happened near the Macedonian village Tanuševec, not far from the border with Kosovo. Armed men, probably Albanians, attacked Macedonian police patrol. Two policemen were injured and one killed.

Dead and alive bodies thrown into the Tisza and Danube
Shadow of Schengen Great Hungarianism

When will Hungary apologise to Serbs, Romany people, Russians, Slovaks and Jews for a massacre and ethnical purges in the year 1942 in Nový Sad and Báčka when more then 5000 innocent civilians were murdered?

On 23rd January, it was 65th anniversary of the raid in Nový Sad. Just in three days, Hungarian occupational troops and the police killed more then 1300 innocent men, women, children and elderly people- Serbs, Romanies, Jews and members of other minorities. They were being killed in three days. Some of them were shot in the streets (Miletičova and Rumenačka Streets), in front of their houses, some in the squares in the town. Afterwards, bodies were put on lorries and unloaded on the town lido near the Danube, which belonged to the biggest river lidos in Europe. Most of them were killed on 25th January from nine in the morning to five in the afternoon. First, soldiers and the police used grenades to break ice on the frozen Danube under Petro- Varadín fortress. Then, they brought wooden boards and naked people stood on them with their hand tied up. Some alive, others already shot by bullet pumps, were thrown into the silent Danube…
Kepiro dodging his punishment
This massacre was carried out by Hungarian “nurselings” of Police School from Sekszárda (in Hungary) that had been brought to strengthen the police in Nový Sad. Those who remember those events claim that they were very cruel to Jews, especially. They were commanded by well-known Dr. Mátron Zöldi who was hanged up in Nový Sad after the World War II. Sándor Kepiro, a 92- year old captain of those policemen lives in Budapest where he returned in 1996 from his exile in Argentina. Simon Wiesenthal’s Centre that searches for Nazi mass killers discovered him. However, Mr Kepiro has not been punished yet, has not spent a single day in prison what made Serbs very angry. Although, in 1944, the Hungarian court sentenced him for his disloyalty to the Hungarian army for ten years and in 1946, the National Court sentenced him for 14 years in prison and forced works because of his war crimes and for organization of deportations of Jews from Novy Sad to concentration camps. However, the Court in Budapest passed a resolution in March 2007 that it is impossible to carry out the sentence because the documents of the original sentence are not “permanent”. Serbia is angry but it cannot ask Hungary for his extradition as there is not bilateral agreement between these two countries that would enable that…
Raid in South Báčka
Massacre in Nový Sad was the part of Hungarian military and police attack in South Báčka that stated on 4th January 1942. It was initiated under the guise of persecuting of members of Šajkašsky partisan detachment that fought Hungarian occupational troops near Čugura and Žablje in Báčka region near the Tisza and caused Hungarian troops a lot of damage.
“Consequently, it further investigation revealed that genocide had been prepared much earlier and that they had been waiting for a suitable guise,“ Mr Predrag Bajič from the Museum of Vojvodina in Novy Sad told me. “A special operative group had been formed from military and police forces for this purpose. It was directly commanded by General Ferenc Sombathelyi, Commander of General Staff of the Hungarian Royal Army. He was executed after the war; nevertheless, he was rehabilitated recently.”
Purges in Čuruga, Žablje and other parts of Šajkaška (south- west part of Báčka), where mostly Serbian minority lived, lasted to 9th January 1942. “Eight troops from Hungary accompanied by some local Hungarians and somewhere Germans took part in that plundering and mass killings of a very cruel way. They murdered the entire families, children and infants. The youngest victim was Savka, a daughter of Arsen and Anka Nikolič from Čuruga; she was only two weeks old- born on 23rd December 1941. The last phase included raids in Srbobrana and Bečejev on 28th and 30th January 1942,“ Predrag Bajič continued.
Based on data by the historian Zvonimír Golubovič that appeared in 1992, the total number of victims was 3809 people, out of them, there were 1965 men, 927 women, 477 children and 440 elderly people. According to the nation criterion, there were 2578 Serbs, 1068 Jews, 64 gypsies, 31 Ruthenians, 21 Hungarians (18 in Novy Sad) and 15 Russians (all in Novy Sad). Some documents that have not been published so far, the number of victims exceeds 4000 people. Like in Novy Sad, bodies were thrown into the Tisza and Danube what is commemorated by an inscription on the memorial in Novy Sad.
Other needless victims
This January raid was not the first crime of such a large scale in occupied Báčka. Even earlier, during April war in the year 1941 when Hungarian royal troops were countermarching to Vojvodina, Hungarian army and local Hungarian citizens killed, based on data issued by “Pokrajinska komisia Vojvodiny” for searching for war criminals, 2 142 people were murdered, mainly Serbs. “Those crimes were needless as Hungarian troops entered Báčka without any organized resistance. Nine high representatives of army and politics were sentenced to death after the War World II. Although the raid had supposed to be focused on partisans, actually, it was aimed on Serbian and Jewish inhabitants and intelligence, priests, people with university degree, recognized merchants and country farmers. It main goal was to eliminate Serbian aspect in Šajkaš, the part of Baška where the most Serbian people lived, in accordance with their long-termed plans of Hungarization in the area. Unexpected reactions of Hungarian and world public initiated by the Hungarian MP Andre Bajcsy- Zsilinszky whose letters of appeal and memorandum addressed to Miklós Horthy caused that there were no more massacres of that kind,“ Predrag Bajič emphasised.
Present autonomy of Vojvodina in the Serbian Republic consists of two regions- Báčka, Sriem and Banát. During the Second World War, it was divided into three parts and seized by Hungarians, Germans and Croatians. Báčka was occupied by Hungarians, Banát by Germans and Sriem by Croatians. Having annexed Báčka, Miklós Horthy enlarged Hungary by 11 601 square kilometres and by a million citizens. Out of then, there were 301 000 Hungarians, 243 000 Serbs, 220 000 Croatians, 197 000 Germans, 80 000 Slovenians, 40 000 Slovaks, 15 000 Ruthenians and 15 000 Jews.

Ján Tarábek, Photographer
He was born in Trnava. He has lived and worked in Nitra since he graduated from university. In 1991, he established Fotar publishing company that focuses on publishing cards.
Together with his wife, they publish calendars, propagation materials and other publications of their own production. Taking photographs is their hobby as well. They concentrate on landscapes, mainly from Orava, Liptov and the Tatras. Apart from panoramas and units as such, they pay attention to catch unusual atmosphere and play with lights. He has already exhibited his works for a few times, not only in Slovakia but also in Poland and Belgium.

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