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PES-Leader to give Smer-SD more time

The head of the Party of European Socialists (PES), Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, will propose at the PES Presidency session on October 4 that the Smer-SD party be given more time to remove extremism from the coalition Government in Slovakia, according to a PES statement issued on September 1 in Brussels.

PES spokesman Julian Scola confirmed Rasmussen's proposal, and said a stance on it has to be adopted by the PES Presidency.

The PES suspended Smer-SD's membership in October 2006 because the party had formed a coalition with the Slovak National Party (SNS).

According to Rasmussen's statement from that time, the PES was proceeding in line with the Berlin Declaration of 2001, which states member parties must refrain from any political grouping, or co-ordination at all levels, with a political party that incites or provokes racial or ethnic prejudices or racial hatred. Originally, the issue of Smer-SD's membership should have been reassessed in June, but the PES Presidency decided in May to postpone the question until October 4 due to technical reasons.

Meanwhile, the Smer-SD has maintained all along that the suspension was “punishment” for creating a Government from legitimate parliamentary parties, Smer-SD spokesperson Katarína Kližanová-Rýsová said on Monday. 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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