How to Escape the Corruption Quagmire?

Massive Arrests of the High Officials of Slovak Security Forces and Intelligence Service

16 June 2021

Since the anti-corruption government of Igor Matovič came to power in Slovakia in March 2020, we have been witnessing massive arrests of security forces’ officials. Paradoxically, even nominees of the current government ended up detained. The question remains, how to decrease the high level of corruption inherent in the Slovak security forces?

When Slovak investigative journalist Ján Kuciak — who investigated tax fraud, mafia connections and corruption — was murdered in 2018, then-Prime Minister Róbert Fico (SMER-SD) and his partners slowly started to lose power. Demonstrations against his government and nominees persuaded Fico to cede the office to Peter Pellegrini from the same party. While formally Fico left office, he was still able to exert influence. Understandably, the desire of the general public remained the same.

“Draining the Swamp”

In May 2020, Igor Matovič (OĽaNO party) won the parliamentary election with extensive support, obtaining 25% of the votes. Since the beginning of his political career, he projected himself as an anti-corruption politician, which made him an ideal candidate for the next PM. His campaign was predominantly based on the promise to get rid of the mafia, corrupt officials, and the old government led by Fico’s SMER-SD.

Even though there were many arrests of influential people, including oligarchs, there is a particular group that stands out: officials of security forces and intelligence agencies.

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Matej Spišák

The author obtained an MA degree in International Relations from Central European University and studies International Security at the European Academy of Diplomacy. Currently, he works as Editor-in-Chief of Infosecurity.sk and Stratpol - Strategic Policy Institute Research Fellow.

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