**This article has been updated to reflect Progressive Slovakia’s representation in the national parliament.
The liberal party and Renew Europe member Progressive Slovakia have been labelled as “left-wing extremists” in an annual report of the Slovak Intelligence Service published last week, representatives of the party claim.
In its report, the SIS does not mention Progressive Slovakia directly, but in the chapter dedicated to left-wing extremism, it references a group that was blocking meetings of right-wing extremist parties before the parliamentary elections in 2020. The report adds that the group was focused on environmental protection, climate change, and gender equality.
According to the party leadership, the passage about blocking meetings of right-wing extremism parties clearly points at the party. Before the elections, politicians from Progressive Slovakia were attending meetings of the People’s Party Our Slovakia and were trying to block them.
“There is no doubt that the authors of the report talks about Progressive Slovakia because – and this is one of the many absurdities of this part of the report – they use in their description exactly the same descriptive characteristics that the extremist scene traditionally pronounces about Progressive Slovakia. This in itself is outrageous that they describe some unnamed left-wing extremist entity in the vocabulary used by the fascists,” said Irena Biháriová, leader of Progressive Slovakia.
It is “absurd” if a focus on environmental protection, climate change or gender equality is considered as characteristics of left-wing extremism, Biháriová added.
SIS has refused to comment.
Progressive Slovakia is represented by MEPs Michal Šimečka, Martin Hojsík and Michal Wiezik in the European Parliament.
The party did not reach the electoral threshold during last year’s national polls but is represented in the parliament by MP Tomáš Valášek, who joined Progressive Slovakia in March 2021 after he left Za ľudí.
(Michal Hudec | EURACTIV.sk)