President angered by SMK

SLOVAK President Ivan Gašparovič has said he does not like it that representatives of the opposition Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) criticized Slovakia in the European Parliament last week. The SMK officials complained that the Hungarian minority was to receive less money this year from the state budget.

“I find it unacceptable that they hurry to these institutions and create an atmosphere of doubt around Slovakia,” said the president in an interview with the commercial Joj TV station.

SMK Chairman Béla Bugár labeled the president’s criticism as “communist relics”. He said that during their visit to Brussels last week the SMK representatives had also praised Slovakia in some respects.

“That does not mean, however, that I cannot have certain critical views about some concrete steps the government has taken,” Bugár said.

In his opinion, the Fico government has broken its promise to maintain the status quo with regards to ethnic minorities, and in 2007 has assigned the Hungarian minority 16 percent less in funding compared to 2005.

Sociologist Pavel Haulík, however, said that the situation in Slovakia is not so bad that the SMK would have to complain in Brussels.

On the other hand, Haulík said, the president should have tried to calm the situation and create space for a dialogue rather than escalating tensions.

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Top stories

Košice

News digest: Slovakia has passed the peak of the second wave, health minister says

Polish doctors will help take swabs in Slovakia this weekend. People who have had COVID can just show their positive test result.

11 h
Rapid testing in Košice

Nationwide COVID-19 testing – and criticism – starts again

Longer ‘screening’ different to October operation.

17 h
Ján Sýkora is an easy-going ice-hockey player who has got a great sense of humour.

Fashion brands mean nothing to me. Professional hockey player about his life in central Slovakia

In an entertaining interview, the down-to-earth ice hockey player, Ján Sýkora, talks about being a busy bee with a poor memory.

21. jan

Old-age pension scheme gains three new features

Brand new parental bonus raises concerns.

21. jan