Parliament Holds Minute Silence For Pavol Demitra
The death of Slovak hockey hero and loving father and husband Pavol Demitra has sent a shockwave through Slovak society, as people tried to accept the sad news and today parliament observed a minute’s silence in his memory.
Slovak Parliament (c) Tibor Macak, The Daily
Pavol was among those tragically killed in his hockey team’s plane crash yesterday along with 43 others in Jaroslavl, Russia, a few seconds after taking off for the first match of the season on Belarus.
Parliamentary chairman Richard Sulik addressed MPs saying, “This minute of silence is for one of the best hockey players Slovakia has ever had. This is an extremely sad event and I believe we should show our respects to him”.
Earlier Prime Minister Iveta Radicova sent a letter of condolence to Pavol Demitra’s relatives also in the name of the whole government, which said “Pavol was not just a big personality for ice hockey fans, but also for all those he made proud to be Slovak when representing us as captain of the national ice-hockey team. Few people can leave such a profound and permanent mark on our hearts, but Pavol Demitra did just that”.
As a sign of respect, the coalition party leaders refused to speak to the media after their key Coalition Board meeting yesterday, and head of opposition party Smer-SD Robert Fico has backed off from his crusade against PM Radicova and her SDKU party over the tax office affair.