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Bugár calls on government to condemn displays of national intolerance

ETHNIC Hungarian SMK party Chairman Béla Bugar called on the Slovak government and Prime Minister Robert Fico to condemn displays of national intolerance at a press conference in Bratislava on August 25.

According to Bugár, attacks motivated by ethnic hatred have recently taken place in Šamorín (Trnava region), Komárno and Štúrovo (both Nitra region). Bugár claimed that the victims feared to report the attacks to the police or to visit a doctor, the TASR news wire wrote.

"The government and Prime Minister Fico could do more to restrain the increasing displays of extremism in Slovakia," Bugár said.

According to Bugár, Slovakia is seeing increased displays of nationalism and a rising anti-Hungarian mood, which is a logical consequence of the presence of the far-right Slovak National Party (SNS) in Fico’s ruling coalition.

Bugár claimed that the current government, made up of Fico’s Smer, the SNS, and the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), has given the impression that nationalism and anti-Hungarian sentiment has been taken on board at the government level.

The opposition SMK, which formed part of the ruling coalition in Slovakia from 1998-2006, has turned to other parliamentary parties to propose the adoption of a joint declaration aimed at halting the promotion of hatred between ethnic Slovaks and Hungarians in Slovakia.

Apart from anti-Hungarian banners at sports events, SMK representatives have also noted threats, insults and calls to send ethnic Hungarians living in Slovakia "back over the Danube River", Bugár said.

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