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Nato support at eight-year high

A new survey by the National Education Centre has found that 60.6 per cent of Slovaks are in favour of joining Nato, the highest support in eight years.

Experts explain the results, which show a 13 per cent jump within the last year, as a combination of vocal support for Nato membership by the main HZDS opposition party, and better promotion of the goal by the Defence Ministry.

Defence Minister Jozef Stank has said he hopes support will reach 65 per cent by the time a Nato summit is held in Prague in November 2002 to decide on new members.

Slovakia is considered a front-runner for Nato membership, although Western diplomats have warned the country could again be ruled out if the HZDS and its authoritarian leader, Vladimír Mečiar, return to power after elections expected in September in Slovakia.

Compiled by Tom Nicholson from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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