Čaputová: Democracy must be kept above the level of hatred, populism and apathy

She received him for his extraordinary care for freedom, truth, political culture and the rule of law. The silver commemorative medal was handed over to her by the chairman of the upper chamber, Miloš Vystrčil (ODS), on the eve of the anniversary of the fall of communism and the restoration of democracy in the former Czechoslovakia.

In a statement of thanks, Čaputová stated, among other things, that democracy and its institutions are facing attacks, undermined by selfishness, populism, extremism, as well as misinformation, propaganda and the negative influence of social media. According to the Slovak president, they are trying to undermine what is essential for democracy – interpersonal trust and cohesion in society. “That is why we must protect and constantly renew it by finding a balance between freedom and responsibility. Let us not remain tolerant of intolerance,” said Čaputová.

The Slovak president also stated that in the first years after the fall of communism in 1989, it was clear that democracy was not a state, but a process in which it was necessary to constantly engage. “We knew we were building a house whose cracks in the walls would have to be repaired all the time. But we had no idea that in addition to the walls, its foundations would have to be rehabilitated repeatedly. lies and hatred will one day become a tolerated phenomenon in public debate, “Čaputová said.

The Slovak president also said that the common state of Czechs and Slovaks was built on Masaryk’s ideals, which were subsequently broken by the war and the long decades of the communist regime. According to Čaputová, however, the feeling of closeness, belonging and ability to support or inspire each other persisted. She would like to pass this feeling on to as many generations as possible.

Čaputová sees the medal not only as her award, but also as an award for friendship and good relations between the two nations. She praised all those who had contributed to the fall of communism and the restoration of democracy in 1989. “Especially at this time, it is necessary for these people to see support in politics, not an obstacle,” Čaputová said at a meeting in the Senate, which was also attended by the new Speaker of the House Markéta Pekarová Adamová (TOP 09).

Vystrčil stated that the path to freedom was “slippery and difficult”, but at the same time beautiful and inspiring. According to the President of the Senate, the most important example of how to follow this path is to be given by a president who takes care of freedom, truth, political culture and the rule of law. “Slovakia has such a president,” Vystrcil said. He thanked Čaputová for the way he behaved and the way he set an example for others.

Čaputová then had a roughly quarter-hour debate with students, whose predecessors played a significant role, especially in the first days of the non-violent overthrow of communist rule, and who were also present at the presidents of both chambers. Subsequently, similarly to the year before, he plans to lay flowers at the memorial on November 17, 1989 on Prague’s Národní třída.

Source: EuroZprávy.cz by eurozpravy.cz.

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