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Chmel quits as culture minister

CULTURE Minister Rudolf Chmel submitted his resignation to President Ivan Gašparovič May 11.

Rather than leaving politics for good, as he suggested he would, Chmel will continue as a New Citizen's Alliance (ANO) MP, the SITA news agency reported.

Chmel says he will make a decision about his political future in the autumn.

"The Culture Ministry is at the bottom of the list of ministries in terms of importance and, unfortunately, in terms of the values of our society. That's why our culture looks the way it does," Chmel said after May 10 government session.

Chmel is ready to confer on the ministry's agenda with his successor, set to be the current Deputy Education Minister, František Tóth, also of the ANO.

Chmel was named Culture Minister on October 16, 2002. During his tenure a resolution was reached on the dispute between Matica Slovenská, which is the cultural-historical institute, and the Slovak National Library.

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