IN SHORT

SNS and HZD to merge in 2007?

THE NON-PARLIAMENTARY Movement for Democracy (HZD), established by President Ivan Gašparovič four years ago, might merge this year with the ruling Slovak National Party (SNS), according to the parties' leaders.

"We are in very close contact with the chairman of the HZD Jozef Grapa. So a possibility certainly exists for a larger part of the HZD to integrate with the SNS. It is up to them to make this step," SNS chairman Ján Slota told the SITA news agency, adding that he has always been in support of the integration of Slovak nationalist parties.

According to Grapa, his party has always cooperated well with the SNS. He pointed out that one of the pillars of the HZD is the nationalist pillar. "There is surely room for closer cooperation. Members of the party will decide at the beginning of 2007 with whom we will cooperate more closely. This close cooperation could culminate in integration," said Grapa.

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