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National Memory Institute evicted by Justice Ministry

THE NATIONAL Memory Institute (ÚPN), an organisation that publishes old communist files and information relating to 20th century Slovakia's past, has received notice to vacate its current premises, which are owned by the Justice Ministry.

In a letter sent to the ÚPN yesterday, the ministry announced that the institute has six months to move out. The Justice Ministry sent the letter without any prior warning or consultation, and therefore it came as a surprise to ÚPN representatives and even some government officials.

Slovakia's Deputy PM Dušan Čaplovič was reportedly shocked at the news.

"I absolutely do not understand this. It's like communication between deaf and dumb people," Čaplovič told the Sme daily, referring to Justice Minister Štefan Harabin, who was nominated to his post by the ruling Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS).

Čaplovič wondered why Harabin had not told him anything about his plans at their recent meeting.

According to the ministry, the current ÚPN premises should be vacated to provide more room for the Bratislava I District Court, which is housed in the same building.

However, critics suspect that politics is behind the move, as the HZDS is against the existence of the ÚPN.

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