Support for Slovakia’s ruling party, Smer, has dropped by four percent since the February mass protests over the murder of a journalist who was investigating links between Slovak politicians and organized crime.
An AKO agency poll showed on Monday that support for Smer dropped from 24.7 percent in February to 20.7 percent in April. The opposition party SaS gained a little under one percent.
The murders of Jan Kuciak and his fiancée outraged the Slovak public and prompted the country’s largest protests since the fall of communism in 1989.
The 27-year-old was investigating the infiltration of the Italian ‘Ndrangheta mafia into Slovakia.
In his final story, published by the OCCRP and partners, the journalist detailed ties between the crime group and the highest echelons of the government of former Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico.
Kuciak was killed as he was researching an alleged defrauding of the European Union through an agriculture subsidy scam orchestrated by people linked to the ‘Ndrangheta.
Tens of thousands took to the streets after Kuciak’s murder and the publishing of his findings. The days-longs protests forced Fico to resign; Deputy Prime MInister Peter Pellegrini took his place.
A law firm Nicos Anastasiades founded — and left just before assuming the presidency — moved millions of dollars among shell companies that were deeply entwined with the secretive global money transfer system.
Busisiwe Mkhwebane, who heads the country’s top anti-corruption body, was flagged by global banking giant HSBC as having financial links to the infamous Gupta family.