Monday, March 19, 2018
Recent developments in Slovakia – murder of an investigative journalist and his fiancée, alleged connection of Italian mafia with high profile governmental positions and criminal complaint of well-respected state attorney against the minister of interior – exhibits deep concerns about the quality of democracy and the rule of law.
First of all we would like to express our condolences to the families of Ján and Martina. We hope their tragic death was not in vain and offer our prayers. We state our support to the Slovak public that have showed enormous engagement in recent events. Demonstrations last Friday, with 120,000 participants all around Slovakia, is a firm message to the government leaders. The legitimacy of each government in a democratic society - as Slovakia is- comes from the people. We believe their voice must be heard.
Currently structural and cohesion funds represent significant income for many member states. Unfortunately they are also a source of corruption and fraud. Corruption itself is a huge economic and moral-ethical problem for the whole of Europe. It is apparent that European money cannot be sent to the member states without close monitoring. The responsibility must be equally shared between giver and recipient. Therefore European agencies like Europol and OLAF must be thoroughly engaged in operations where there is a suspicion of international organized crime.
We strongly reject any influence of mafia and we call for zero tolerance of mafia present in government or business structures in EU member states. Slovak governmental representatives are failing to investigate the murder and alleged link with organized crime, without intolerable political interference. Ever-decreasing trust of the public, the established experience of strong political influence in police investigations, indicate this will not be possible without a systematic reform of police and judicial authorities. Therefore we declare that the current political crisis can only be solved in a peaceful and comprehensive manner, with honest dialogue with the public and by avoiding fruitless political games.
Photo © European Union 2018 - Source : EP