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November 29, 2021, 04:13:58 PM

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Poll
Question: Who would you vote for? 🇸🇰🗳️
#1
OĽaNO
 
#2
Hlas
 
#3
SaS
 
#4
Smer
 
#5
Kotleba-ĽSNS
 
#6
Sme rodina
 
#7
PS
 
#8
KDH
 
#9
Za ľudí
 
#10
Other
 
Show Pie Chart
Partisan results

Total Voters: 35

Author Topic: Slovak Elections and Politics 🇸🇰  (Read 25006 times)
Estrella
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« Reply #300 on: September 25, 2021, 04:15:49 PM »

Considering the...issues you have presented about Fico, is the slow Smer rise just another aberration by the politico.eu average or are there other factors at play here?

The government and Matovič himself have some pretty major... issues as well, and there's a segment of population that this sort of thing appeals to, especially now that SNS is almost dead and Harabin's party stalled at the starting line. 35ish% for Fico+Pellegrini (as the polls look now) would still be a meh result considering how disastrously incompetent the government looks*, and it's a testament to just how polarizing these people are, especially the former. There's also the fact that Smer gains seem to come from Hlas loses, which might just be due to Fico being in the news almost every day thanks to things like this, while Pelle is quiet.

* it's not actually that bad, they've managed the pandemic decently and, of course, fought against corruption, but when the only thing that's in the news are Matovič's rants and neverending coalition crises...
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RGM2609
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« Reply #301 on: September 25, 2021, 04:27:04 PM »

Considering the...issues you have presented about Fico, is the slow Smer rise just another aberration by the politico.eu average or are there other factors at play here?

The government and Matovič himself have some pretty major... issues as well, and there's a segment of population that this sort of thing appeals to, especially now that SNS is almost dead and Harabin's party stalled at the starting line. 35ish% for Fico+Pellegrini (as the polls look now) would still be a meh result considering how disastrously incompetent the government looks*, and it's a testament to just how polarizing these people are, especially the former. There's also the fact that Smer gains seem to come from Hlas loses, which might just be due to Fico being in the news almost every day thanks to things like this, while Pelle is quiet.

* it's not actually that bad, they've managed the pandemic decently and, of course, fought against corruption, but when the only thing that's in the news are Matovič's rants and neverending coalition crises...
Thank you! Also, speaking about coalition crises, is it getting any better now that the madman is no longer in charge (at least officially) and is Heger building any independent profile or is he just a tool?
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Estrella
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« Reply #302 on: September 25, 2021, 05:05:11 PM »

Considering the...issues you have presented about Fico, is the slow Smer rise just another aberration by the politico.eu average or are there other factors at play here?

The government and Matovič himself have some pretty major... issues as well, and there's a segment of population that this sort of thing appeals to, especially now that SNS is almost dead and Harabin's party stalled at the starting line. 35ish% for Fico+Pellegrini (as the polls look now) would still be a meh result considering how disastrously incompetent the government looks*, and it's a testament to just how polarizing these people are, especially the former. There's also the fact that Smer gains seem to come from Hlas loses, which might just be due to Fico being in the news almost every day thanks to things like this, while Pelle is quiet.

* it's not actually that bad, they've managed the pandemic decently and, of course, fought against corruption, but when the only thing that's in the news are Matovič's rants and neverending coalition crises...
Thank you! Also, speaking about coalition crises, is it getting any better now that the madman is no longer in charge (at least officially) and is Heger building any independent profile or is he just a tool?

It's not getting any better, Matovič keeps lashing out and doing stupid sh-t just like when he was PM and while Heger seems fairly intelligent and competent, he's just a tool. The strange thing is that maybe, just maybe, I can see this coalition lasting for most of the term. They've survived a year and a half through a series of very bad crises, perhaps they will survive a year or two more.
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RGM2609
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« Reply #303 on: September 25, 2021, 05:31:00 PM »

Considering the...issues you have presented about Fico, is the slow Smer rise just another aberration by the politico.eu average or are there other factors at play here?

The government and Matovič himself have some pretty major... issues as well, and there's a segment of population that this sort of thing appeals to, especially now that SNS is almost dead and Harabin's party stalled at the starting line. 35ish% for Fico+Pellegrini (as the polls look now) would still be a meh result considering how disastrously incompetent the government looks*, and it's a testament to just how polarizing these people are, especially the former. There's also the fact that Smer gains seem to come from Hlas loses, which might just be due to Fico being in the news almost every day thanks to things like this, while Pelle is quiet.

* it's not actually that bad, they've managed the pandemic decently and, of course, fought against corruption, but when the only thing that's in the news are Matovič's rants and neverending coalition crises...
Thank you! Also, speaking about coalition crises, is it getting any better now that the madman is no longer in charge (at least officially) and is Heger building any independent profile or is he just a tool?

It's not getting any better, Matovič keeps lashing out and doing stupid sh-t just like when he was PM and while Heger seems fairly intelligent and competent, he's just a tool. The strange thing is that maybe, just maybe, I can see this coalition lasting for most of the term. They've survived a year and a half through a series of very bad crises, perhaps they will survive a year or two more.
Jesus, what a wasted opportunity... Seeing that Kolikova has left ZL, will ZL demand their Ministry back or do they have no choice with their 4 MPs?
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Estrella
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« Reply #304 on: September 25, 2021, 05:54:07 PM »

Considering the...issues you have presented about Fico, is the slow Smer rise just another aberration by the politico.eu average or are there other factors at play here?

The government and Matovič himself have some pretty major... issues as well, and there's a segment of population that this sort of thing appeals to, especially now that SNS is almost dead and Harabin's party stalled at the starting line. 35ish% for Fico+Pellegrini (as the polls look now) would still be a meh result considering how disastrously incompetent the government looks*, and it's a testament to just how polarizing these people are, especially the former. There's also the fact that Smer gains seem to come from Hlas loses, which might just be due to Fico being in the news almost every day thanks to things like this, while Pelle is quiet.

* it's not actually that bad, they've managed the pandemic decently and, of course, fought against corruption, but when the only thing that's in the news are Matovič's rants and neverending coalition crises...
Thank you! Also, speaking about coalition crises, is it getting any better now that the madman is no longer in charge (at least officially) and is Heger building any independent profile or is he just a tool?

It's not getting any better, Matovič keeps lashing out and doing stupid sh-t just like when he was PM and while Heger seems fairly intelligent and competent, he's just a tool. The strange thing is that maybe, just maybe, I can see this coalition lasting for most of the term. They've survived a year and a half through a series of very bad crises, perhaps they will survive a year or two more.
Jesus, what a wasted opportunity... Seeing that Kolikova has left ZL, will ZL demand their Ministry back or do they have no choice with their 4 MPs?

A wasted opportunity for sure, but even if the only thing the government achieves is to get rid of the mafia infestation, it will have been worth it. As for ZĽ getting a second minister, Matovič seemed to care more about that than the party itself out of spite at SaS, but he has now found a new Shiny Object and ZĽ... well, they're (checks Wikipedia) at 1.7% in the polls lol.
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RGM2609
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« Reply #305 on: September 26, 2021, 03:30:55 AM »

Considering the...issues you have presented about Fico, is the slow Smer rise just another aberration by the politico.eu average or are there other factors at play here?

The government and Matovič himself have some pretty major... issues as well, and there's a segment of population that this sort of thing appeals to, especially now that SNS is almost dead and Harabin's party stalled at the starting line. 35ish% for Fico+Pellegrini (as the polls look now) would still be a meh result considering how disastrously incompetent the government looks*, and it's a testament to just how polarizing these people are, especially the former. There's also the fact that Smer gains seem to come from Hlas loses, which might just be due to Fico being in the news almost every day thanks to things like this, while Pelle is quiet.

* it's not actually that bad, they've managed the pandemic decently and, of course, fought against corruption, but when the only thing that's in the news are Matovič's rants and neverending coalition crises...
Thank you! Also, speaking about coalition crises, is it getting any better now that the madman is no longer in charge (at least officially) and is Heger building any independent profile or is he just a tool?

It's not getting any better, Matovič keeps lashing out and doing stupid sh-t just like when he was PM and while Heger seems fairly intelligent and competent, he's just a tool. The strange thing is that maybe, just maybe, I can see this coalition lasting for most of the term. They've survived a year and a half through a series of very bad crises, perhaps they will survive a year or two more.
Jesus, what a wasted opportunity... Seeing that Kolikova has left ZL, will ZL demand their Ministry back or do they have no choice with their 4 MPs?

A wasted opportunity for sure, but even if the only thing the government achieves is to get rid of the mafia infestation, it will have been worth it. As for ZĽ getting a second minister, Matovič seemed to care more about that than the party itself out of spite at SaS, but he has now found a new Shiny Object and ZĽ... well, they're (checks Wikipedia) at 1.7% in the polls lol.
Rip ZL, probably the best of the parliamentary parties. And also, getting rid of mafia does not achieve much if they're so unpopular they are succeeded by a...mafia government. Thank you for your answers, eastern European politics are fascinating!
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Estrella
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« Reply #306 on: October 13, 2021, 04:26:34 PM »

A very, very long and complicated case was finally closed. I've stumbled upon a Czech article that explains it best, looks at it from distance and in just a couple sentences explains the years-long saga that sounds like if Quentin Tarantino made a film out of The Casual Vacancy.

Quote
Alena Zsuzsová, Roman Ostružlík and Vladimír Mosnár were found guilty of murder of László Basternák, former mayor of Hurbanovo, and sentenced to 21 years in prison.

In 2010, Zsuzsová got involved in local elections in Hurbanovo, managing Ostružlík's campaign against his opponent, former mayor Basternák. Ostružlík ordered Basternák's murder and Zsuzsová hired Mosnár to carry it out. He failed and handed over the order to Štefan Kalauz. Basternák was shot on July 9, 2010.

The elections took place in autumn. Ostružlík lost, as did Basternák's widow.

Just to clarify, Hurbanovo is a completely unremarkable small town of about 7,500 people. If Ostružlík for some reason wanted to run that place so bad, literally buying votes (which does actually happen in local elections, albeit on a small scale and involving mostly Roma communities) would be a cheaper and less illegal way to win.

Oh, and the election that he wanted to win - it wasn't even close. He ended up fourth.
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Estrella
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« Reply #307 on: October 27, 2021, 12:44:13 PM »

Poaching, especially organized poaching by gangs is a fairly big problem in Slovakia. It seems that the police decided to crack down hard on them and even went as far as installing a hidden camera and microphone in a rickety old hunting cottage somewhere near Levice. By an unbelievable stroke of luck, instead of some drunk hicks talking about shooting deer without a permit, we got this:



Left to right:
- Marek Para, lawyer of former Police President Tibor Gašpar, currently imprisoned for corruption, sabotaging investigations and such stuff
- Robert Fico, obvious
- Miroslav Bödör, co-owner of a very shady private security firm with close ties to Smer (they boomed thanks to getting contracts to guard public buildings when Fico was PM)
- Pavol Gašpar, Tibor Gašpar's son and lawyer of Miroslav Bödör's son Norbert
(not shown in this frame) Robert Kaliňák, Fico's Minister of Interior and closest associate

They talked about some very interesting things: coordinating testimonies so as not to incriminate each other or their associates, discussing the possibility of public protests, agreeing to inform each other of developments in the investigation... or Fico mentioning how his home was broken into and €50,000 in cash was stolen, but he decided not to report it to police so that it wouldn't raise suspicion.

In case anyone was having doubts about the veracity of the recording, Fico removed them all by calling a press conference that was completely unhinged even by his already low post-2020-defeat standards. Highlight: shouting "you think I'm a naive boy who will answer your questions?!" in response to a journalist's question.
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Estrella
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« Reply #308 on: October 27, 2021, 01:00:27 PM »

Have a taste:




Para: ...and they called him for an interrogation, he refused to testify and told the investigator "you'll see!" and left. And they were working on another possibility, where they're talking about making €1.7 million per month on VAT refunds.

Fico: okay, and how? These 13 or how many people you're talking about [unclear] Makó admitted to this?

Para: They started with his testimony. I think he'll get the same status as others in the Očistec case, they will expel him and delay his [unclear] they will put it into resolution no. 206. That's why he was so [unclear]

Fico: [unclear] organized crime...

Para: Just the fact he was in three organized crime groups and God knows how many of them aren't being prosecuted yet.

Fico: I'm going to inform you all about what we have to do.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #309 on: October 28, 2021, 07:05:51 AM »

I've said this before, but I love this thread.
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Estrella
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« Reply #310 on: October 29, 2021, 01:28:01 PM »

There's more!

Section 363 of Criminal Code enables the Prosecutor General to cancel decisions of police or lower-ranking prosecutors - in practice, enabling him to cancel an indictment in a snap of a finger. The current Prosecutor General is a certain Maroš Žilinka, a Matovič appointee long thought to be very anti-Fico and anti-certain-influential-people-close-to-Fico, to the point that the assassins of Ján Kuciak* were (allegedly) considering Žilinka as their next victim - unfortunately, it wouldn't be the first time something like that happened.

* shortly before his death, Kuciak investigated a Bödör-owned company that leased the state-owned hunting reserve that includes the cottage where this meeting took place. Yes, we know exactly where it was: like all proper villains, Fico and friends met in their evil lair in a beautiful pristine forest a small patch of trees right next to a nucelar power plant.




Fico: Žilinka communicates very little. He's totally isolated, he doesn't want to have any contacts. He goes to Eastern Slovakia, his friend is the manager of Hotel Dukla in Prešov, or whatever it's called. He goes hunting with him. Our MPs from Eastern Slovakia told me "Robert, Žilinka was in the East and left a message with that businessman that we don't need to be scared of these changes", regarding 363 and separation of offices of general and special prosecutor. [Minister of Justice Mária] Kolíková today proposed an amendment to 363 - I don't know what's in there, I haven't seen it, some changes. We need to create huge pressure in parliament, we need to fillibuster, create obstructions, I don't know what we're going to come up with, so that they don't get it adopted as fast as they want.
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Estrella
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« Reply #311 on: October 31, 2021, 01:37:15 PM »

Something to remember on this day: the murder of Ján Kuciak wasn't just the end of Robert Fico's premiership, but a breaking point. Just like the 1998 election clearly showed that Slovaks want the country to be a democracy in Europe and not a cheap imitation of Lukashenko's Belarus, the 2018 protests were the moment the corruption pressure cooker that had been boiling since the Gorilla scandal final burst. Perhaps because it took such a tragedy for it to happen, Kuciak has become a kind of a folk hero. It's not just the #AllForJan buttons that you still see almost four years on, or stickers saying "Jan Hus - Jan Palach - Ján Kuciak". This All Saints Day, like last year and before, many chapels in cemeteries have a portrait of Kuciak and his girlfriend somewhere, surrounded by dozens of candles.
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Estrella
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« Reply #312 on: October 31, 2021, 03:24:32 PM »

Talking about symbolism...



...a decade (and three weeks) ago, Mrs Facepalm and Mr Surprise in the above image finally had enough of each other and the government of Iveta Radičová fell. It's a long story, but this image just about sums it up.
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« Reply #313 on: November 05, 2021, 03:19:29 PM »

@Estrella please can you tell us something more about Kalinak and ofc I would like to know your personal opinion about him. Thank you
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Estrella
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« Reply #314 on: November 05, 2021, 07:34:40 PM »

@Estrella please can you tell us something more about Kalinak and ofc I would like to know your personal opinion about him. Thank you

Robert Kaliňák was a part of Fico's inner circle since he helped found Smer in 1999. Unlike Fico and other people close to him, he hadn't been involved in politics before - after the Revolution, he opened a chain of restaurants together with Ján Počiatek (who also joined Smer and was the Minister of Finance in 2006-2010). He was elected MP in 2002 and after Smer formed government in 2006, he was named Minister of Interior. He did have successes in this position - entry into Schengen, major police reforms and road safety campaigns - but he's remembered mostly for two scandals: sabotaging an investigation of a hate crime against a Hungarian woman that resulted in a series of petty diplomatic tussles between Slovakia and Hungary, and an embarassing incident in which Slovak police forgot a training bomb in the luggage of an air passenger flying to Ireland, which led to him having his home raided by anti-terror units and being arrested.

Throughout his time as Minister, Kaliňák became Fico's right-hand man. After Smer regained power in 2012, he was again appointed Minister of Interior. Again, he had successes - a major reform that significantly improved the notoriously backwards, byzantine and bloated public administration - but again, it's not what he's remembered for. In 2014, Fico ran for President and it was an open secret that if he were elected, Kaliňák would become the PM. Of course, Fico was already pretty unpopular and he was defeated 59-41, so nothing changed. After Smer won reelection in 2016, he continued as Minister of Interior. Things were chugging along nicely, until February 21, 2018 - the murder of Ján Kuciak and the ensuing mass protests. Given who Kuciak was going after and the suspected identity of his killers, there were serious concerns that the investigation would be manipulated by the government and there were demands for Kaliňák's resignation. Two weeks after the murder, Kaliňák did resign, mostly likely pressured/blackmailed into doing so by Smer's coalition partners who were just about ready to leave and were only convinced by the departure of Kaliňák and, obviously, Fico.

As for my opinion of him...

1. Like most Smer bigwigs, he's actually quite competent and genuinely intelligent, but up to eyeballs in shady dealings, corruption scandals and general nastiness. Conclusion: HP.

2.


3.


(It's not actually him. Probably.)
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Estrella
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« Reply #315 on: November 07, 2021, 01:00:18 PM »
« Edited: November 07, 2021, 01:06:04 PM by Estrella »

From Sme, a poll of people's trust in members of the cabinet. Blue is trust, red is distrust.



Vladimír Lengvarský (OĽaNO, Health) 36% trust, 61% distrust
Ivan Korčok (SaS, Foreign Affairs) 34% trust, 54% distrust
Ján Budaj (OĽaNO, Environment) 32% trust, 62% distrust
...
Igor Matovič (OĽaNO, Finance) 11% trust, 88% distrust
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Estrella
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« Reply #316 on: November 10, 2021, 06:50:56 PM »

The Sulík-Matovič bickering that precipitated this spring's coalition crises has retreated into background. Now it's all about Sulík vs. Kollár. I gotta say it's refreshing to see intra-coalition warfare that is at least vaguely based on ideology, even though it's still mostly about clashing egos - Sulík the establishment* right-liberal against Kollár the socially conservative left-wing populist**.

July 2: Sulík is disappointed by Kollár, criticizes him for surrendering to hoaxes

July 9: Sulík is interested only in the wellbeing of businessmen and doesn't care about the people, said Kollár

October 11: Kollár has overdone it with threatening to leave, it's losing effect, says Sulík

November 9: Sulík: What use is Kollár in the coalition if he keeps sabotaging all reforms?

November 10: Sulík: Kollár's social housing act is sheer stupidity

* Probably not the best choice of words - I'm using "establishment" in the sense of "non-populist", but a gold-chain-wearing, pitbull-owning "businessman" who happens to have the personal number of a Smer politician is, frankly, just as establishment as an investment banker.

** Kollár doesn't identify as leftist though, for obvious reasons - no, not the fact he's a millionaire. Two decades of Fico and four decades of slogans about "building socialism" before that created a mentality that socialism = communism, while social democracy = "Direction - Social Democracy" = Cosa Nostra.
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Estrella
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« Reply #317 on: November 16, 2021, 08:29:12 PM »

1. Government's big healthcare reform (there's a long post about it somewhere upthread) passed into the next reading with a razor-thin majority - 76 MPs out of 150. In theory, the coalition parties have a two-thirds majority of 91, but Kollár and most of his 17 MPs are abstaining more and more often. We've gotten to a point where Kollár's party basically provides just confidence and supply, but still gets to keep their ministers because no-one wants to blink first. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me.

2. Matovič presented a comprehensive tax reform on a press conference with a slightly strange Banksy-esque (Banksian?) aesthetic, titled "Tax Revolution Fulfills Dreams" *eyeroll*. Mostly it's just minor tweaks, but they balance out to tax rises on dividends (from 7% to 9%) and banks, and tax cuts for corporations (from 21% to 19%). The rest is mostly streamlining - Matovič bragged that his new proposal for taxation of work has only "23 words and 6 numbers":

Quote
Tax 19%. Social insurance 39%. Bonus for low-income employees equivalent to tax, up to €100 - 9% of gross wage. Social insurance bonus for students and disabled over 50 years 10%, for disabled over 70 years 20% of gross wage.

Yes, the income tax is (remains) flat. The only thing Smer changed during their total of 12 years in power was introducing a 25% tax on income over €32,000 a month, which affects maybe a few hundred people, but then Eastern European socdems are like that.
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Estrella
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« Reply #318 on: November 16, 2021, 08:39:31 PM »

Riddle me this (no, seriously, this is an actual question if anyone knows). How is it possible for the same country to have...

the lowest income inequality in the OECD (yay!)



but also the second highest regional inequality in the OECD?



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tack50
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« Reply #319 on: November 19, 2021, 04:46:58 AM »

Riddle me this (no, seriously, this is an actual question if anyone knows). How is it possible for the same country to have...

the lowest income inequality in the OECD (yay!)



but also the second highest regional inequality in the OECD?





Presumably within each region everyone earns the same, but the rich regions are much richer than the poor ones

Though tbh I am very surprised at that result. Is provincial Slovakia genuinely that poor? Is regional inequality really so much worse than that of say, Italy?
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Estrella
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« Reply #320 on: November 19, 2021, 12:13:00 PM »

Riddle me this (no, seriously, this is an actual question if anyone knows). How is it possible for the same country to have...

the lowest income inequality in the OECD (yay!)



but also the second highest regional inequality in the OECD?





Presumably within each region everyone earns the same, but the rich regions are much richer than the poor ones

Though tbh I am very surprised at that result. Is provincial Slovakia genuinely that poor? Is regional inequality really so much worse than that of say, Italy?

Not sure if it's worse than Italy, but it's pretty bad.


Bratislava is very inconveniently located for the rest of the country.
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Estrella
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« Reply #321 on: November 21, 2021, 11:05:49 AM »

Marian Kotleba, or if Michael Myers also enjoyed yelling about how "masks are the symbol of a slave".


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Estrella
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« Reply #322 on: November 25, 2021, 10:15:28 PM »

Let's take a look at the big picture. Why is it that OĽaNO's polls look like a ski slope?



A year and a half ago, Smer was spectacularly kicked out from power and a new, promising government was sworn in. What have they accomplished? Only one thing, but an important one - the arrests of corrupt functionaries, judges, cops, politicians, oligarchs and so on. Once the they were arrested, the government gloated and then, instead of fixing the court system and the police, they promptly let it descend into chaos, with branches of law enforcement repeatedly raiding each others' offices instead of doing their job. Apart from this, the only thing that anyone noticed about the governing parties was that they have been constantly at each other's throats over... pretty much any issue that appeared before them. But the opposition isn't any better, as anyone who read this thread knows - that meeting at the hunting cottage is only the tip of the iceberg.

One the one hand, parties that are little more than fronts for oligarchs who treat public finances as their personal piggybank at best and send the 'Ndrangheta after journalists at worst; on the other, a neverending display of incompetence, callousness, arrogance and an absolute lack of self-awareness that seems tailor-made to alienate every remaining sympathetic voter; in between, Tiso-worshipping literal Nazis. I don't think anything sums up the quiet political crisis enveloping this country as well as this very HIGH ENERGY editorial from a newspaper that is usually the pinnacle of Very Serious #elitist liberal-conservative journalism.

Quote
Today in Slovakia, there isn't a single thing that works. No group in Slovakia is as incompetent and indifferent as you, politicians. Today, Slovakia is a country on its knees, not becuase of its citizens, even though sometime someone will have to think about why we keep voting for the greatest evil again and again as if we were high, why we are able to consume childish slogans instead of kicking all those demented posters and billboards to pieces and giving them to you as a reward for destroying the country, the public space, for your language that keeps us in a state of a cold civil war.

When Kuciak was murdered, there was a similar feeling of the country being on its knees. Perhaps it was even worse, but there was hope. And now, there isn't.

</rant>
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