Slovakia’s Long Road to Democracy

John W. Mason gives the historical background to this month's elections in Slovakia.


Slovakia’s general election in September will focus attention on a nation that is little understood in the West. US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s damning image of Slovakia as ‘the hole of Europe’ is only an extreme example of the type of reaction which this small central European country, of just over five million people, evokes among foreign observers. As a new state, independent only since 1993, Slovakia has few fixed historical markers to help place her into a recognisable framework.

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