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Bill on student loans to get second reading

THE CHANCES of the governing coalition getting its bill on student loans through parliament took a turn for the better yesterday, when it scraped through the first round by just one vote.

However, the government had to rely on the votes of four independent MPs to get the bill through just this first round. Even government partner parties have reservations over the bill.

New Citizens Alliance (ANO) MP Jirko Malchárek said, "I expect that our [Christian Democratic Movement] KDH partners will be open to discussions about good quality education and cancelling the university entrance exams."

His colleague Beáta Brestenská told the media that ANO would also like to get rid of the clause in the draft bill saying that universities can postpone the fees till 2007, the Pravda daily reports.

Compiled by Magdalena MacLeod from press reports
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