The leader of the Party of European Socialists (PES) Poul Nyrup Rasmussen announced on October 4 in Brussels that the Smer-SD’s membership in the PES will remain suspended.
According to European social democrats, the tension between Slovaks and Hungarians and provocative statements by Slovak National Party (SNS) leader Ján Slota still constitute a problem.
The PES spokesperson Julian Scola told SITA that "Smer-SD's membership might be restored in February, if not earlier". European socialists have authorized the head of Italian socialists Pierre Fassina and MEP Hannes Swoboda to lead the negotiations with Smer.
The Party of European Socialists suspended Smer’s membership after the elections in June 2006, when Smer formed a government with the nationalist SNS and the ĽS-HZDS of Vladimír Mečiar.
In its Berlin Declaration, the PES writes that its members must refrain from forming alliances with parties that incite or attempt to stir up racial, ethnic, or religious tension. SITA
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
4. Oct 2007 at 18:15