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IN SHORT

EPP head concerned over SNS in government

THE leader of the European People's Party-European Democracy (EPP-ED), Hans-Gert Poettering, expressed concern on June 30 at the fact that the Slovak National Party (SNS) will form part of the new Slovak government.

According to Poettering, the SNS is "known abroad and in Slovakia for its xenophobic and ultra-nationalist opinions on ethnic minorities, especially Hungarians and the Roma.

"I'm shocked that this most extremist xenophobic party will be part of the new government. This development can't be justified by the lack of suitable partners in the Slovak parliament, and it can only harm the real interests of Slovakia. It will certainly threaten the fundamental political, economic and social progress that has been achieved under [outgoing Prime Minister] Mikuláš Dzurinda," said the head of the largest political bloc in the European Parliament.

At the same time, Poettering's bloc also strongly criticised Smer's attacks on the reforms introduced by the previous government, according to the TASR news wire.

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