Parliament passes laws spurned by Schuster, rejects others

Parliament has again approved a law giving the public access to the archives of the ŠtB former communist secret service, but failed to pass two other anti-communist laws rejected last month by President Rudolf Schuster.

The failed bills would have made it a crime to publicly express sympathy with communism, and would have prevented former ŠtB officers from working in the current SIS secret service.

Schuster returned 18 bills to parliament approved in the July session, many of them related to entry to the European Union, forcing the legislature to hold a final meeting before dissolving for September 20-21 elections.

Concerning other returned bills, parliament rejected a draft retail chains law returned to the legislature by Schuster that would have required stores to carry a “proportional” assortment of Slovak-made goods. The bill had been severely criticised by the European Union as restricting competition and inviting corruption.

Parliament also failed to approve a bill forcing incumbent telecom monopoly Slovenské telekomunikácie (ST) to lease its ‘last mile’ lines to competitors following market liberalisation in January 2003. The bill had been returned by Schuster because he felt the fines set for ST’s not leasing its lines were too high.

On the other hand, parliament yesterday passed a packaging law that will increase recycling by forcing retail outlets to charge a deposit to consumers even on disposable glass and plastic containers. The law had been returned to the legislature by the president on the grounds that it would hurt less wealthy consumers.

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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