Mečiar – Father of the Slovak Republic
January 2, 2013
Love him or hate him (and it seems quite popular at the present time to hate him) Vladimír Mečiar is the father of the Slovak Republic.
He was the autocrat, the heavy handed guy on the Slovak side of the negotiating table while Vaclav Klaus, love him or hate him, the father of the Czech Republic, was on the Czech side of the negotiating table when the two countries became independent from each other. Officially, that “Velvet Divorce” took place on January 1, 1993.
Mečiar’s name is soiled with all kinds of stories that I was not present for and I consider myself at this time having no business repeating. His name is adored by a significant number of people who I have never sat down to speak with, and who I therefore feel I have no business either praising or criticizing. Usually, his supporters are identified as old, female, village dwelling, nostalgic for communism. About these things I have no idea. I grew up in Chicago politics learning to believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see. In politics, I find that especially to be the case. Mečiar never did a darn thing wrong to me and just like everyone else who’s never done a darn thing wrong to me, I intend to never do a darn thing wrong to him.
Condemnations of Mečiar are easy to find in other places on the internet, so I find no need to repeat them. Also, I consider many politicians to be scoundrels and I’m not sure I can honestly believe people who write journalism that goes something like this “My friend the scoundrel politician is better than that other guy’s friend who is an even bigger scoundrel politician.” It’s not especially exciting for me to have vigorous debates over who the smaller scoundrel is and why the smaller scoundrel deserves my trust.
What I know is that the way the story of the Velvet Divorce is told, there are two people who deserve the title of “father of his country” from that period. That’s Vladimír Mečiar, father of the Slovakia Republic, and Vaclav Klaus, father of the Czech Republic.
On January 1, 2013, Slovakia celebrated the 20th anniversary of its appearance on the world stage as an independent state. This is a perfect time to recognize the father of that Slovak Republic – Vladimír Mečiar.
Do you have sentiments about Mr. Mečiar that you would like to share in this space? If so, then please do.
Allan Stevo writes on Slovak culture at www.52inSk.com. He is from Chicago and spends most of his time travelling Europe and writing. You can find more of his writing at www.AllanStevo.com. If you enjoyed this post, please use the buttons below to like it on Facebook or to share it with your friends by email. You can sign up for emails on Slovak culture from 52 Weeks in Slovakia by clicking here.