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Cabinet rejects draft Hlinka law

The Slovak Government at its session on October 17 rejected a draft of a controversial bill that recognizes the role of politician and priest Andrej Hlinka (1864-1938) in the formation of the Slovak nation.

The Culture Ministry, which submitted the proposal to the Cabinet, suggested that clause five of the draft bill, which states that "any defamation of Andrej Hlinka by the public is punishable under the law", should be dropped.

The draft, written by SNS chairman Ján Slota and fellow SNS MPs Anna Belousovová, Rafael Rafaj and Andrej Púčik, also states that Hlinka´s personality, work and legacy contributed to the establishment of the independent Slovak Republic in 1993.

Wednesday's decision by the Government is only a recommendation. The final version of the law, if passed, will be decided by Parliament.

[Hlinka was the founder and leader of the Slovak People's Party (SLS), which pushed for more autonomy for Slovakia within the Czechoslovak state between the world wars. When Hlinka died in 1938, the party was taken over by Jozef Tiso, another priest who, upon becoming president, turned Slovakia into a Nazi-puppet state (1939-45) - ed. note] TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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