Michal Kováč, Slovak politician and economist, parliamentarian, minister, speaker of the Federal Assembly, and president of Slovakia from 1993 to 1998, died on October 5. A state funeral for the president was held today in Bratislava amid military honors.
Michal Kováč was an oppositionist, active among others in the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia, a supporter of Slovakia's pro-European course, a statesman. In the condolence letter at the Slovakian Embassy the Speaker of the Parliament called him a hero of our times. He emphasized that we owe the democratic order in Europe today to people like Kováč.
In 1994 Michal Kováč was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland, and three years later the Order of the White Eagle.