US stance on Slovakia's OECD bid still unclear
After a May 23 meeting between Slovak Finance Minister Brigita Schmögnerová and Nancy Lee, the US Treasury Department's deputy assistant secretary for International Affairs, the US's stance on Slovakia's entry into the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) by June remained unclear.
Lee said that the US in no way wanted to retard the progress of economic reforms in Slovakia, but that the country wanted reassurances of ongoing economic transformation. She also said that the US did not doubt the need to support to Slovakia's OECD membership, only that the entry date was in question. Schmögnerová responded that the failure to enter the OECD in June, despite support from other OECD members, could have a negative impact on the Slovak Government's will to continue the transformation process.
In a May 24 letter to US President Bill Clinton, Slovak Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda asked for support of Slovakia's OECD entry bid. Dzurinda wrote that American support would fill the PM with faith in the "personal support and leadership influence" of Clinton concerning Slovakia's ambitions to join this elite economic club of countries associated in the OECD.
SDĽ boss says cabinet must improve
Jozef Migaš, chairman of the Party of the Democratic Left (SDĽ) and Speaker of Parliament, again said on May 24 that the cabinet was in need of a reshuffle and that other urgent issues were a burden on the ruling coalition. He said that the present status quo in the cabinet should not be preserved, and that he did not agree with the opinion of his ruling coalition partners that a reshuffle should wait till autumn. "We have to solve problems in advance so that we won't be surprised when the roof falls in on our heads," Migaš said.
Although his SDĽ party had delivered four documents to parliament outlining ways to improve the functioning of the ruling coalition, Migaš said that his partners had not yet reacted to them adequately. He complained that his partners were playing down the situation, which he said was not an appropriate response.
Coalition party members refused to comment on the SDĽ complaints, saying that Migaš' party had failed to deliver on its promise to offer concrete proposals, nothing was yet worth discussing. Migaš, for his part, said that it was right of the SDĽ to attract attention to the shortcomings of the coalition before offering proposals.
Police say 701 foreigners must leave Slovakia
Miroslav Samek, the director of the Slovak Border Police, said on May 22 that the police had so far this year cancelled temporary residence permits for 701 foreigners living in Slovakia, 417 of whom lived in Bratislava.
Compiled by Chris Togneri from SITA
29. May 2000 at 0:00