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Southern Slovaks protest Hungarian president's visit

Ethnic Slovaks living in southern Slovakia met in Šurany and Komárno (both Nitra region) to sign a formal letter of protest against Hungarian President László Sólyom's visit to the village of Diakovce (Nitra region) on August 19, it was reported on August 22.

The Slovaks see Sólyom's visit, which marked the Hungarian holiday of St. Stephen’s Day, as official support for another country's holiday on the territory of a sovereign and independent state.

The Slovaks plan to send their protest to Sólyom himself, while also informing President Ivan Gašparovič and Foreign Affairs Minister Ján Kubiš of their grievances.

"I see this as a diplomatic lapse," one of the signatories, Stanislav Bajanik, told the media, adding that no one is attempting to dispute the importance of St. Stephen, who brought Christianity to Central Europe upon uniting the Magyar tribes in the year 1000.

The signatories also took issue with statements made by Slovakia's ethnic-Hungarian SMK party leader Pál Csáky, who they say called any ethnic-Hungarian living in Slovakia "narrow-minded" if they send their child to a school in which Slovak is the primary language. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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