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IN SHORT

SMK welcomes Slota's election amendment proposal

Eva Dunajská of the opposition Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) said on May 31 that governing coalition Slovak National Party (SNS) chairman Ján Slota's proposal earlier in the day to change the Election Act was remarkable, the TASR news wire wrote.

Slota proposed changing the Election Act according to the Hungarian model. "We plan to propose an amendment inspired by the most democratic countries," he said, referring to Hungary, where all ethnic minorities have a representative in the parliament.

According to Dunajská, SMK supports the idea of ethnic minorities being represented in parliament, given that the Hungarian minority in Slovakia would have one more MP with the so-called 'ex offo' mandate than it does currently. (According to 2001 figures, there are 9.7 percent ethnic-Hungarians in the Slovak population.)

Notwithstanding the uncharacteristically pleasant dialogue between the rival parties, SMK chairman Pál Csáky reacted to Slota's statements concerning the European Commission (EC) deliberately obstructing the allocation of EU funds for the three Slovak ministries (environment, construction and education) led by SNS-nominated ministers. According to Csáky, it is due to the governing-coalition's inability to solve this issue that Slovakia will not be able to draw anything in 2007 from the 2007-2013 EU funds.

Dunajská said that Slota's statements confirm there are serious problems with respect to the talks on the National Strategic Reference Framework document. Although the EU returned some of Slovakia's submitted operational programmes for reworking, Slota claimed that Slovakia still submitted its programmes to Brussels on time. Slota added that, according to Marián Janušek (Minister for Construction and Regional Development), some of the EC's objections look like deliberate obstruction.

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