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Slovakia to Use €300,000 from EU for Roofs Repair instead of Fighting Disinformation

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Photo: Slovakia's Minister of Culture decided to redirect €300,000 allocated by the EU to combat disinformation to repair the roof of the Slovak Philharmonic and support libraries. Source: Slovak Philharmonic on Facebook
Photo: Slovakia's Minister of Culture decided to redirect €300,000 allocated by the EU to combat disinformation to repair the roof of the Slovak Philharmonic and support libraries. Source: Slovak Philharmonic on Facebook

Slovakia's Minister of Culture Martina Simkovicova has decided to redirect €300,000 allocated by the European Union to combat disinformation and strengthen media education to repair the roof of the Slovak Philharmonic and support libraries. This was reported by Euractiv.

As the deadline for implementing the projects for which the EU funds were initially allocated was set to expire by the end of the year, the minister decided to reallocate the funds, citing a lack of time.

"The Ministry of Culture was looking for other ways to use these funds effectively and decided to change the purpose of these resources. This change will benefit the Slovak Philharmonic and the University Library in Bratislava," Simkovicova said.

According to the newspaper, disinformation is a serious problem in Slovakia, as Slovaks are among the most prone to believe in conspiracy theories in the EU.

Even the minister herself has long been a well-known disseminator of disinformation in Slovakia. In her videos, she warns about the "threat of chemical traces", and a month before the election, she published a hoax claiming that the EU wants to ban toilet paper and replace it with straw.

Asked whether her ministry wanted to continue fighting disinformation, Simkovicova replied: "Yes, we definitely want to continue. But in a slightly different spectrum than the one that has been established so far."

The competitions for which the EU funding was initially earmarked focused, among other things, on media education through webinars, publications and research.

Among them was a project by Daniel Otko from the Theatre Centre in Martin, which aimed to teach high school students about totalitarian regimes and hoaxes on social media. Otko considers the ministry's actions unprofessional.

"I would like to see the people who have been working to fight disinformation and help with media education to be even more committed to their work and do it as well as possible," he said.

As previously reported by The Gaze, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico caused a diplomatic scandal during his visit to the Czech Republic. Fico proposed a date for the visit that did not suit Czech President Petr Pavel, as well as the heads of the upper and lower houses of parliament.

For several days, Pavel debated whether to accept the visit. In the end, Slovak President Zuzana Caputova convinced him to make a concession.

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