HZDS to collect 350,000 signatures against minority-language law

The Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) wants to collect 350,000 signatures in petition against the adoption of the minority-language law, HZDS vice chairman Gustav Krajčí told journalists June 15.

The move could force a national referendum on the subject and prevent parliament from effectively dealing with the law, which is currently being debated in parliament. The law has been held up in debates because ruling coalition leaders differ over details in its text. Its adoption is seen by international observers as an essential step for Slovakia on the road to EU entry.

Krajci said that the HZDS organized the petition to eliminate a certain kind of "Babylonism" in Slovakia in which too many different languages would be used. Other HZDS members said they would not be against minority laws being used in towns where more than 50% of the citizens were minority. The government drafts are considering setting the minimum limit at 10- 20%.

HZDS lawyers were planning on launching the petition immediately. In other moves to draw attention to the party, the HZDS Political Board also adopted a resolution June 15 which stated that the current government had not met its promises and announced its intention to set up a shadow cabinet which will monitor the current government.

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