SLOVAKIA does not have any top leaders from the former communist regime still lingering in senior state positions, PM Mikuláš Dzurinda said in Brussels on February 5.
"Looking at the Slovak political scene - be it the government, parliament, or any number of other institutions - I dare say that you will not find a single representative of the former regime," the TASR news wire quoted Dzurinda as saying at a meeting of the European People's Party (EPP).
However, Dzurinda's spokesman, Martin Maruška, later said that TASR failed to note that Dzurinda was only referring to the three parties close to the EPP: his Slovak Democratic and Christian Union, the Hungarian Coalition Party, and the Christian Democratic Movement.
Dzurinda's statements came hours ahead of the vote among members of the EPP, the European Parliament's strongest party, on a draft resolution calling on those intending to work in EU bodies to come clean about their communist pasts.
The objective was to prevent people who were part of coercive communist structures or had committed crimes against humanity from seeking European posts.
"We should remain reasonable and make a distinction between those who wanted to save themselves and signed on with the Communist Party and those who organised repression," he said.
16. Feb 2004 at 0:00 | From press reports