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NEWS BRIEFS

HZDS: We want what is ours

THE RULING Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) is dissatisfied with its position in the coalition alongside Smer and the far-right SNS, according to the Hospodárske noviny daily.

HZDS Chairman Vladimír Mečiar has said that unless the party's demands for greater influence are taken seriously, it could hold up the draft state budget for 2007 in parliament, as well as the cabinet's tax reforms.

However, the other junior ruling coalition party, the SNS, appears satisfied with the way power has been divided.

Deputy Transport Minister Dušan Švantner of the SNS noted that in the 1994-1998 election term, the HZDS had "steamrolled" its coalition partners, at that time the SNS and the Slovak Workers Association, to a greater extent than Smer is doing now.

"At that time, the HZDS occupied all the top regional and district posts, while the SNS received only regional and district deputy chief jobs," he said.

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