Local Communities and Post-Communist Transformation: Czechoslovakia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia

By Simon Smith | Go to book overview

3
Civic Forum and Public Against Violence
Agents for community self-determination? Experiences of local actors
Simon Smith
So are you saying we don't have any honourable politicians?
We do, but they are the ones who lack support.… People somehow don't appreciate them
Could it have turned out differently?
Probably not. I thought this country was a lot better prepared for the fall of communism, that its moral condition was a lot better. But it isn't.
You live in a small village [near Trnava] where most people support HZDS. How do you get along?
The locals believe sweet-sounding slogans and don't realise what influence they have on things. They tolerate me, they even listen, but they treat me as an eccentric.
(Interview with actor and folk singer Marián Geišberg, Domino fórum no. 4, 2002)

At present legal and political methods are highly effective and we must not abandon them. But nor should we neglect other strategies… Fundamental aspects of our environment will change for the better only via a positive road: by personal connection and personal example, through understanding, reciprocity, trust, openness, cooperativeness, interest in others, strength of personality.

(Jan Piňos, Czech environmentalist, 'Trvale udržitelné hnutí', Sedmá generace no. 9, 2000)

If it were not for us [mayors and local councils], instilling a certain calm and peace in the municipal sphere against a background of terrifying problems, this state would turn into Argentina.

(Peter Modranský, mayor of Trenčianske Teplice in Slovakia, Obecné noviny no. 22, 2002)

-41-

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