Zuzana Mistríková

* 1967

  • “I did not want to go to candidate, I think talked about it Milan Šimečka jr, that when they were putting together the candidates and it was agreed that it must be clear that this is all in the common interest, they selected the most notable personalities, in a sense that they were renown, not that they were the most important people in the student movement because no one could say that- they would be part of the campaign so that the connection would be visible. So we agreed that I would be on the candidate list, but I would be in an ineligible place, they calculated it so mathematically that I was in such a place that I was 16th in the region, but I do not remember it for the Central Slovak region. At that time it was divided according to who was needed where it was not according to residency. It is completely unthinkable today that the electoral system was set up so that I got circled to the second place and then we stood before the question (I was asking it myself, and other people were asking the same) because it must have been an unthinkably large number of people, who cast their vote for me, I don’t know hundreds of thousands... whether it is fair to say, no thank you, I wasn’t asking for that? This is how I finally came to Parliament with great respect, but after you have experienced November and other things, your attitude was more like „let’s see“. The magic thing was that ten years ago I met a lady who was still working in the National Council office, and when she saw me she hugged me and told me that the first parliament that emerged from the elections was the most professional parliament she had ever experienced. And I stayed totally terrified because I say half of us had no idea where we are, and we had no idea about those processes, but then I realized that I probably understood her, because we all came there, with the commitment of that half-year, there is now a chance to change the country, both with great respect that we do not know the rules and the rules are and we need to understand them and that created a group of people, who tried to solve problems. And we had to pass many laws, we had so much work until the moment when problems of language and separation of federation emerged, it was in fact, a very progressive parliament...“

  • “On Saturday, Sunday there were elections, I had the state exam on Monday. I suddenly graduated from college and my political career. We knew it would not end up well, we must say that it turned out to be totally fatal, we really didn't think it would turn out so bad. But there was one strange calculating-Czechoslovak model because it was quite clear that after the election of '92 Václav Klaus would no longer be the Minister of Finance; just the prime minister, that was clear. Thus, suddenly there was a problem in the puzzle, that the president should be from Slovakia. And in the coalition debates of all subjects, which we tried to lead according to November rules and goals, and it seemed for a while, that Martin Porubjak could be the president, and we laughed so badly because I was working for him at the Government Office, and I was terrified of the idea of moving to Prague or something... however absurd it sounds today, it was at one point a relevant option. But the election solved it gracefully and solved it so, that at that moment was ... We all thought it would be only possible to solve it through a referendum, even including Meciar until the last moment claimed it could only be solved through a referendum. We all knew that the referendum wouldn’t turn out so well, we knew it would be terribly complicated federally to put together a unit, which should be capable of deciding or eventually coordinate decision on the national level. But we knew the ruling garniture will do everything to cut these attempts off, and they did it in the end.“

  • “I confess that I found myself somehow by accident in the middle of these. I was one of the few people who coordinated it on the spot, and then I went into the first television debate, it was strange how I became the person appearing in the media. It was also a coincidence because at the end of the week if I remember correctly, there was an offer from Austrian television to show up, a student and someone from VPN at Zwei Club, a reputable ORF talk show and I was supposed to go there with Peter Zaca. I studied German at that time and he is an excellent translator from German. As we declared the occupation strike, we were not going home anymore, so it was magical because I called my mom that someone would stop for my passport because a visa was still needed. We were given both visas during the afternoon and then the news came that Slovak Television would make a discussion club into which they would let the other party, and so I just went in for the debate for students. And this is that first photo of Kňažko with Budaj sitting there and Ondruš with Kusý and me, and on the other side were some business directors and I did not know those "fatcats'' at all, because I was not interested then, so I had no idea who is who. It turned out quite well, the adults expected I would panic when they asked me questions, but when they realized I somehow made it, they relaxed. And thus I became the communicator with the media, so I had the much-wanted function of press spokesperson without at least fighting for it. Everything was just a coincidence after coincidence.”

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    Bratislava, 29.05.2018

    duration: 01:39:52
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th century
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When anything happened, people turned to students, viewing their opinions as some kind of promise

Zuzana Mistríková was born on May 21, 1967, in Martin, but grew up in Bratislava. She studied film and theatre dramaturgy at the Academy of Performing Arts, where she was also during the Velvet Revolution. From the beginning, she joined the student activist movement and co-founded the Coordination Committee of Slovak Universities. On 24 November 1989, as a student movement representative, she appeared in the TV Dialogue Studio in a discussion with representatives of the Communist Party. In the first free elections in June 1990, she was elected as a deputy of VPN to the Slovak National Council (SNR), when she was only 23 years old. In 1992, she retired from active politics, co-founded Fun Radio and co-founded the Association of Independent Broadcasts. She is currently a film producer and president of the Association of Independent Producers in Slovakia.