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Slovaks call to oust prime minister in wake of reporter's death

By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Bratislava (dpa) - Tens of thousands of Slovaks took to the streets of Bratislava and other cities on Friday, demanding the ouster of the premier and efforts to ensure Slovakia doesn‘t become a Mafia state as the fallout from a reporter‘s death continues to shake the nation.

Prime Minister Robert Fico has found himself fending off calls for his resignation ever since the February 25 discovery of the body of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak, who had been looking into corrupt practices and profiteering among politicians.

Opposition legislators began the process of calling a no-confidence vote on Wednesday, even as President Andrej Kiska accused the government of ignoring for years reports from the country‘s SIS secret service about the influence of Italian Mafia organizations in the country.

Fico has been prime minister since 2012. The centre-left politician served a previous term from 2006 to 2010.

Protesters on Friday marched with banners calling for "a respectable Slovakia" and demanding that "Slovakia should not become a Mafia state."

Other signs called for Fico‘s resignation or read simply "Shame!"

The marches were organized by unaffiliated activists who said they did not want politicians speaking at their event. Organizers said Friday‘s event was the biggest demonstration in Bratislava since 1989, when the people of then Czechoslovakia rose up against communist rule. Protests were reported in other cities in Slovakia and other countries.


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