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IN SHORT

President plans state-of-the-nation address

SLOVAK President Ivan Gašparovič wants to present a state-of-the-nation address in parliament sometime this spring.

The address will be Gašparovič's first presentation in parliament as president. He was elected to the post last year.

Because there is no parliamentary session in April, the nearest possible date for the speech is in May.

"It's up to the president. He can bring forward his report whenever he wants," parliament spokesman Michal Dyttert told the TASR news agency.

According to the president's spokesman Marek Trubač, Gašparovič wants to address parliament on serious political issues.

Slovakia's constitution provides the president with the possibility of addressing parliament. The president usually does this once a year, generally at the turn of the year. Gašparovič, however, did not make use of this opportunity because he had only been in office for half a year and exercised his right not to do so.

Ex-President Rudolf Schuster presented his last address in December 2003.

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