Infighting Threatens Slovak Democracy Politics Suspected in Abduction of President's Son

By Dean E. Murphy 1995, Los Angeles Times | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), November 27, 1995 | Go to article overview

Infighting Threatens Slovak Democracy Politics Suspected in Abduction of President's Son


Dean E. Murphy 1995, Los Angeles Times, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


Being the son of the president has its benefits, particularly for a budding entrepreneur hoping to make a killing in the rough-and-tumble markets of newly capitalist Central Europe.

Michal Kovac Jr., the son of Slovak President Michal Kovac, enjoys instant name recognition. He gets high-powered invitations. And he does not lack for business associates.

But the 33-year-old Kovac is learning, in an unexpectedly bruising way, that having a father in high office can be perilous in Slovakia, the bad boy of Central Europe, where business is booming but democracy is going bust.

At the moment, Kovac is free on $100,000 bail in neighboring Austria, where he spent 32 days in jail this fall after being kidnapped near his Bratislava home by armed men, tortured, pumped full of whiskey and dragged across the border. His kidnappers are suspected of being political enemies of his father who hoped to embarrass the president by having his son arrested on an Interpol warrant stemming from a year-old German fraud case.

Now the Austrian courts are trying to decide whether to extradite Kovac to Germany, where he is wanted for questioning in the case, or allow him to return home because of the peculiar circumstances of his arrest. Kovac, 22 pounds thinner and a bit shaken, has taken refuge in a Silesian monastery. Rocky Democracy

He said in an interview: "I had received blackmail messages saying, `If your father does not resign, we will keep after you until the very end.' I hope this will help Slovak citizens wake up. If they are willing to do this to me, at what point will they stop?"

The kidnapping of a president's son would create a sensation most anywhere, but in Slovakia Kovac's ordeal has exposed Slovakia's rocky democracy and illustrated how difficult the transformation from totalitarianism remains in the former communist Eastern Bloc.

Lubomir Liptak, 66, a historian at the Slovak Academy of Sciences, said: "When I was 8 years old, fascism came to Slovakia. When I was 18, we got communism. Democracy didn't come until I was already of retirement age. I never had the opportunity to be a democrat. Neither did most other Slovaks . . . and the situation is not unique to Slovakia."

But the situation is the most serious in Slovakia. Unlike the problems in neighboring countries, where the trend is indisputably in the direction of democracy, the assault on Slovak freedoms is systematic and pervasive.

The concerns are made worse by the newborn country's inexperience in governing itself. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Infighting Threatens Slovak Democracy Politics Suspected in Abduction of President's Son
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.