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IN SHORT

Fico: Attacks on cabinet politically motivated

SLOVAKIA'S problem is not the participation of the Slovak National Party (SNS) in the government, but the fact that the Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) and the Slovak Christian and Democratic Union (SDKÚ) are not in the government, according to PM Robert Fico.

In a September 16 interview with the public broadcaster Slovak Radio, Fico also said that recent international attacks on the Slovak government were politically motivated, and that all cases of alleged extremism in Slovakia should be seen in this light.

"If the SMK is still unable to digest the fact that it is not in government, it has to say how high it wants to ratchet tensions, because these tensions are extremely dangerous and are doing an enormous amount to worsen the situation," the PM said.

Fico added that he fully supports the decision of the Slovak police to close their investigation into the alleged attack on ethnic Hungarian student Hedviga Malinová, on the grounds that it never happened.

He said that after he was informed of the details of the investigation, he did not doubt its conclusions. "For us this matter is closed," he said.

Malinová, who insists she was attacked by Slovak extremists for talking Hungarian, filed an appeal against the police decision to close the investigation on September 18.

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