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SMK: Government gets month-long reprieve

The SMK party, representing Slovakia’s ethnic Hungarian population, decided at a national council over the weekend to remain in the government coalition as long as it coalition partners unite to pass an important regional reform law by September 30. In an interview with the Pravda daily newspaper, SMK chairman, Béla Bugár, said the party’s decision to give the government until September 30 to pass the law assigning powers to newly-created regions was the coalition’s “last chance to show it doesn’t want to force the SMK out.”

Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda called the one-month deadline “realistic” and said the government would attempt to comply; however, Jozef Migaš, chairman of the socialist SDĽ party, said the SMK decision was akin to “hair-pulling”, and said he felt no harm would be done if the law was passed after September 30.

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