NEWS BRIEFS

Schuster to honour Alexander Dubček and Milan Šimečka

Slovak President Rudolf Shuster announced that the state would honour various Slovaks for their outstanding contributions to the country on the seventh anniversary of the establishment of the Slovak Republic on January 1, 2000. Among those honoured would be Alexander Dubček, a Slovak-born former Czechoslovak leader known for creating the "socialism with a human face" ideology and leading the 1968 Prague Spring demonstrations against communism, and Milan Šimečka, a philosopher, political writer and 'Charter '77' signatory.

After a meeting with Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda, Schuster announced that key figures in the 1989 Velvet Revolution would be honoured as well, but the announced selections have been questioned in media and political circles. Two of the controversial selections announced were Milan Čič, former Justice Minister in socialist-era Slovakia and currently the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court, and Peter Weiss, the former secretary of the Marx-Lenin Institute and current vice-chairman of the government coalition SDĽ party.

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