Orbán calls for ban on Beneš decrees

HUNGARIAN PM Viktor Orbán has said Slovakia will have to cancel a series of laws passed in the 1940s stripping Hungarians and Germans of their land on Slovak territory - known as the Beneš Decrees - before it joins the EU.

The decrees, which deprived thousands of owners of farm land and forced over 400,000 ethnic Hungarians to give up their Hungarian nationality, are among the most sensitive areas in Hungarian-Slovak relations.

Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda said that digging up the past leads nowhere. "The Czech Republic and Slovakia are doing at least as well as Hungary on the path to the European Union. We should be helping each other," he said.

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