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IN SHORT

Mečiar: Referendum needed on Vatican

THE CHAIRMAN of the opposition Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) party, Vladimír Mečiar, believes a referendum should be held on the objection of conscience treaty between Slovakia and the Vatican, the TASR news agency wrote.

Mečiar alleges that the debate now emerging on the issue ahead of scheduled September 2006 general elections is a ploy by the ruling coalition Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) to mobilize support.

According to PM Mikuláš Dzurinda, conscientious objection is a complex issue that requires time and care in its handling. "We should strive to find a text that is acceptable for the Catholic Church, the Holy See, the other churches, as well as for atheists," Dzurinda said.

KDH Chairman Pavol Hrušovský has said he will continue to urge all MPs, including the opposition, to approve the agreement.

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