Why this story matters:
The political situation in Slovakia was set ablaze by the Kuciak case. People took to the streets demanding the resignation of the government after the death of the young investigative journalist, who was writing about tax fraud, corruption and the ties between Italian mafia and Slovak politicians.
The president of Slovakia, Andrej Kiska, is in favor of a government shakeup, and has called for early elections.
This is doubtless one of the most severe political crises in the country's history. And at the crux of this crisis is the downfall of PM Robert Fico.
The PM is a veteran of Slovak politics, and he was always considered a stabilizing force because of his rational approach and pro-European leanings. This image has now gone up in smoke.
During his last press conference, he accused President Kiska of holding conspiratorial meetings with Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros -- a poorly planned attack that did away with his remaining credibility.
Fico should have seen that, by attempting to use Soros as a scapegoat, he would unavoidably remind everyone of Hungarian PM Victor Orbán, who turns to his enemy of choice whenever he finds himself in a precarious position.
scandal, media, illiberalism, politics, soros
Details from the story:
- "Why did the President of the Slovak Republic attend a personal meeting with Mr. Soros, a man of a questionable reputation?" asked Fico during a press conference on Monday.
- At the end of February, 27-year-old Slovak reporter, Ján Kuciak, and his fiancée, Martina Kušnírová, were found dead late on Sunday evening. Police officials believe the murders to be linked to Kuciak's work.
- After Kuciak's death, major media outlets published his unfinished investigative text. It was about the ties between Italian mafia 'Ndrangheta and politicians of the ruling party Smer.
- On Friday, tens of thousands of people protested against the current political situation that led to the murder of the young couple. They want the government to resign.