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Hlinka contributed to nation, but isn't its father

The Slovak Parliament approved an act recognising the role played by politician and priest Andrej Hlinka in forming the Slovak nation and state on October 26, the TASR newswire wrote.

The law, which was drawn up by the co-ruling Slovak National Party (SNS) and has attracted a great deal of controversy in recent weeks, was supported by 94 MPs out of the 134 present in the parliamentary chamber. All ethnic-Hungarian SMK MPs and six SDKÚ lawmakers voted against it.

The law was approved in a "reduced" form. The adopted text no longer calls Hlinka "the father of the nation", nor can anybody be prosecuted for "besmirching his name". An article stating "the eternal gratitude of Slovaks to Hlinka" has also been dropped.

The approved version says that Hlinka contributed more than anyone else to the emergence of the Slovak nation and the Slovak Republic in 1993.

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 helped Germany turn Slovakia into a Nazi-puppet state under his leadership from 1939-1945.

-TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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