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Trubač: President won't give in to bike-path protesters

Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič will not give in to pressure from protesters over the recent amendment to the Forests Act, Gašparovič's spokesman Marek Trubač told the TASR newswire on July 8.

Trubač was responding to the "bicycle" protest against the amendment, which was organized by the opposition Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) in front of the Presidential Palace in Bratislava on July 8.

SDKÚ leaders and around 300 other cyclists rang their bells and appealed to the president not to sign the new legislation that would ban cyclists and horseback riders from all except specially designated forest trails.

The amendment, which was proposed by coalition MPs, was passed by parliament on June 21.

Trubač said that Gašparovič will decide whether to approve the amendment by July 17, after special analyses of the situation have been made, said Trubač, adding that the president does not want to decide under pressure from the media or SDKÚ.

If Gašparovič approves the amendment, it will come into effect on September 1.

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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