The killing of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak has caused upheaval in Slovakia, says political analyst Grigoriy Meseznikov. By clinging to power, Prime Minister Robert Fico is worsening the situation by the day.
DW: The murder of journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee Martina Kusnirova has shocked the citizens of Slovakia and cast the country into political turmoil. Many observers see the murder as a breaking point, possibly even a turning point for politics in Slovakia.
Grigorij Meseznikov: The murder was a great tragedy and indeed an event that could change the course of history in the country. The people are outraged. They are outraged that the government is incapable of protecting people with critical viewpoints and that the work of independent investigative journalists has had no affect on the work being done by the administration.
Jan Kuciak spent years writing articles containing explosive information, yet nothing changed in politics. He even approached the police for protection after receiving serious threats after one such article was published, yet the police simply ignored his pleas. Civil society is now putting pressure on the administration, demanding that it make changes. I am skeptical about the chances of something actually happening to that end. Nevertheless, the situation in the country absolutely has to change.
Among the utterly surreal scenes that played out after the murder, Prime Minister Robert Fico held a press conference in which he stood next to a small table with €1 million ($1.2 million) in cash on it.
He said the money would be given as a reward to anyone offering credible information about the killings. What did you think when you saw that?
I truly believe the murder shocked the prime minister and his administration. And I think they sought a spectacular way to show they were serious about quickly and efficiently solving the crime. But the gesture itself was ultimately cynical and actually follows the logic of the mafia to the letter. It is a logic that says money can buy anything — political influence, material gain, witnesses. That is not the logic a democratic government should ascribe to.