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IN SHORTS

Slovaks want God in EU constitution

SLOVAK representatives in the Convention on the Future of the European Union say that the proposed European constitution should include references to God and religious values.

"I think it should mention religion," said Irena Belohorská, while Slovakia's chief negotiator with the EU, Ján Figeľ, said he thought it would be a unifying element.

"I support the idea that the common European institution should include a reference either to God or religious roots. It is an important value for the majority of the population ... and could bring a unifying element for different cultures," said Figeľ.

Although the first 16 articles of the draft unveiled on February 6 contains no reference to religion, both officials praised it for maintaining the national identity of EU member states.

"We naturally promote the principle of nation states, which is why we will insist that national citizenship be placed [before EU citizenship]," said Belohorská.

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