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SMK backs down over compensation

The Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) has dropped a demand for financial compensation for ethnic Hungarians who suffered under measures discriminating against Hungarians and Germans in former Czechoslovakia after World War II, but the door has been left open for further discussion in the future.

The party said the demand, which caused a media uproar, was abandoned when it became clear it would not achieve the desired results.

"The reason why the SMK backed down so fast was the three coalition partners' firm opposition to discussing this issue," SMK deputy chairman László Gyurovszky told the daily Sme.

Analysts say the SMK knew very well that the contention over compensation would not be resolved in the first few weeks after the election, as the coalition had to concentrate on reaching agreement on the new government programme.

Nevertheless, they say, the demand served a purpose.

"It was important for them to open this issue, so that it will be easier to deal with in the future," said political analyst Ľuboš Kubín.

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