NEWS BRIEFS

Kotleba no longer teaching

MARIÁN Kotleba, the head of the banned fascist group Slovak Togetherness (SP), no longer teaches at a secondary school in Banská Bystrica following a deal with the school administration on August 31.

School principal Milan Beňačka announced on September 6 that Kotleba's contract had been altered by mutual agreement to turn him into an IT network administrator. The terms took effect from September 1.

The deal removes considerable pressure on the school to dismiss Kotleba, a notorious proponent of extremism in the country.

After Kotleba was charged with hooliganism on August 29 when he and a group of SP supporters tried to disrupt a celebration of the Slovak National Uprising in Banská Bystrica, even PM Robert Fico suggested he be fired from his job.

Regional authorities in Banská Bystrica, however, said their hands were tied as the law does not allow them to fire a teacher just because they don't agree with his opinions.

"As long as he has not been sentenced in a court of law, the municipality cannot do anything," regional spokesman Martin Krupa told the Sme daily.

"Mr Kotleba will no longer have any contact with children," Beňačka said after the deal.

"I think the work will be OK, I'll see," said Kotleba. "The agreement is the one I arranged with my lawyers."

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