Bugár tells president about SMK minority rights concerns

HUNGARIAN Coalition party (SMK) leader Béla Bugár on June 30 told President Ivan Gašparovič of his party's fears the status of ethnic minorities could become worse after the formation of the new government.

SMK is also concerned that the post of minister for education will be given to a nominee of the nationalist SNS.

"You remember when the SNS had this post [while it was in the governing coalition between 1994 and 1998]. Minister [Eva] Slavkovská practically destroyed all the progress being made in minority education," Bugár told journalists after meeting with the president. He added that, although this is not the 1994-1998 period, the SMK will stay alert, and will watch what happens, TASR reported.

Gašparovič has said he is convinced that no principal changes will occur in education or minority rights. "For my part, I will certainly make sure that all rights belonging to ethnic minorities are guaranteed," he said.

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