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Gorilla tapes: The voters are absolute turds

Gorilla tapes: The voters are absolute turds

Dániel Cséfalvay / October 21, 2019

( 2 min read )


“The voters know absolutely nothing. They have no idea what is going on. These people apprehend only the tiniest superficial bits.”

According to the audio recordings, these are the words of Jaroslav Haščák, one of the wealthiest Slovaks, describing his perception of democracy in practice. But, are these comments so far away from reality?

The reason why we know about his alleged comments is because of the leaked audio recordings, that captured the meetings and discussions of the political and business elite. The apartment where they occasionally met, was coincidentally next to the flat of a former Slovak Secret Service (SIS) agent, who noticed that cars of several high position politicians were stopping there fairly often. After getting approval from SIS he set up the sound recording device and audiotaped the meetings. 

Based on the audio recordings the encounters of the various high profile politicians and business executives were about the corrupt distribution of public finances, agreements on the nepotistic occupation of political positions, dubious financing of political parties and cases of intended bribery. 

At a notorious moment of the recording, Haščák refers to the voters as turds, that barely comprehend the functioning of the state. 

Listening to hours of repeated nefarious deals and corrupt agreements, oddly this small bit of the tape seemed to show the most humane part of these people. Detached from the everyday-reality of ordinary citizens, who rely on their monthly income to function, it felt like an introspection of the wealthy elite. As if they suddenly tried to understand something beyond their world of influence and power.

Despite the claims allegedly made by Haščák on the audiotapes, this part of the recordings was not his genuine critique of the democratic system, it was not a reflection on the massive corruption that is ongoing. It was merely a pitiful grin towards the seemingly powerless public. 

Those assembling in the apartment show that they are well aware of the flaws of the democratic system and they will not restrain from capitalizing on them. They look at the ordinary citizens with contempt, pointing out their ignorance, their neglect of basic civic responsibilities, and unawareness. 

Currently, the recordings remain in the hands of the police to be judged for authenticity. The final legal decision whether to prosecute the people in the recordings remains in the hands of the judges. And the decision whether the public remains to be seen as powerless, well, that remains in the hands of the public. 


To read more about the Gorilla case:


The Economist:  Scandal in Slovakia: The multi-million euro gorilla

Euractiv: Slovak politics rocked by ‘Gorilla’ corruption scandal

SME Spectator: Slovakia listens to Gorilla


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