NEWS BRIEFS

Prime Minister Dzurinda to meet with Pope John Paul II

Slovak Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda was scheduled to visit Italy for a two day trip which would culminate on a visit with Pope John Paul II. It will be the first official meeting ever between a Slovak prime minister and His Holiness.

On April 7, Dzurinda was to meet with his Italian counterpart Massimo D'Alema and Italian President Oscar Scalfaro, as well as deliver speech to Italian businessmen. On Thursday, April 8 the Pope was to grant Dzurinda an audience. The Slovak Prime Minister was also due to meet the Holy See secretary, Cardinal Angelo Sodano.

Finance minister Brigita Schmognerövá, Economy Minister Ľudovit Černak, and Foreign Ministry State Secretary Jan Figel were due to accompany the prime minister, as were a group of businessmen who wished to use Dzurinda's trip to shape business links with Italy.

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