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IN SHORT

New EC ambassador: Slovak voters mature

NEWLY appointed European Commission ambassador to Slovakia, Eric van den Linden, said Slovak voters were mature enough to decide who to vote for in parliamentary elections.

He added that Slovakia belonged among the countries with the highest public support for European Union membership. Linden is certain that the results of parliamentary elections scheduled for September 2002 will reflect this fact.

"Slovakia has achieved great progress by catching up with candidates that started accession talks with the European Union sooner," he added. However, he noted that cabinet and parliament were somewhat behind schedule in adopting the necessary EU legislation.

Slovakia still has 42 EU-related laws to approve before the June recess if the country is to keep its own deadline for EU entry by 2004.

The Dutch Linden, a career diplomat, replaces the outgoing Walter Rochel from Austria.

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