NEWS BRIEFS

US toughens anti-HZDS rhetoric

US AMBASSADOR to Nato Nicholas Burns was reported by the Austrian paper Die Presse on June 20 as saying the return of former Slovak PM Vladimír Mečiar's HZDS party to power after September elections would be a "fundamental barrier" to the country's entry to Nato.

The US until Burns' statement had not ruled the party out as categorically as its leader.

HZDS MP Ivan Gašparovič, who was speaker of parliament under Mečiar, responded that "no one takes the statements of Ambassador Burns seriously."

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