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NEWS BRIEFS

Chancellor Schroeder pledges to support Slovakia at Helsinki summit

After meeting Slovak Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda in Bonn on March 10, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder told the media that Germany will support launching entry talks with Slovakia at the Helsinki EU summit in December of this year.

During the meeting, the German Chancellor said he respected the program of investment support the Slovak Cabinet approved on March 9. He said he hoped the program would encourage many Germans to do business in Slovakia.

Dzurinda said after the meeting that he was satisfied with the presence of German companies on the Slovak market and remarked that "we already consider Volkswagen a Slovak car." Dzurinda invited the German Chancellor to visit Bratislava; the visit should take place at the beginning of the year 2000.

Dzurinda had also said earlier in the day at a lecture at the German Chamber of Commerce in Bonn that the Slovak cabinet was working on overcoming all obstacles that prevented Slovakia from joining the EU entry vanguard. He explained that Slovakia's ambition is to complete this task by the December Helsinki EU summit.

The March 10 meeting was the first ever between a Slovak Prime Minister and his counterpart from Germany.

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