SMK concerned about minority rights

HUNGARIAN Coalition Party (SMK) leader Béla Bugár informed President Ivan Gašparovič on June 30 of his party fears that the status of ethnic minorities in Slovakia could deteriorate under the new government.

The SMK is also concerned that the post of minister for education was given to a nominee of the far-right Slovak National Party (SNS).

"You remember when the SNS had this post [while it was in the governing coalition between 1994 and 1998]. Minister [Eva] Slavkovská destroyed all the progress that had been made in minority education," Bugár told journalists after meeting with the president. He added that although the 1994-1998 period is in the past, the SMK will stay alert and will watch what happens, the TASR news wire reported.

Gašparovič has said he is convinced that no major 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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