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President addresses parliament

SLOVAKIA is on the right path but there are still major problems here, said Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič in his state of the nation address in parliament June 22.

The president Slovakia needs reforms but people in the poor regions suffer from the impact of the current reforms.

While a part of the opposition was satisfied with the president's speech, as well as some members of the ruling coalition, most of the MPs showed signs of boredom while the president read his 22-page long speech, the daily SME reported.

Some even said that it was the most boring speech in the history of presidential addresses. Vladimír Mečiar, the head of the opposition Movement for a Democratic Slovakia, who competed with Gašparovič in the second round of the presidential elections last year, even left the parliament's meeting room during the speech.

The president spoke about persisting regional differences in Slovakia and criticized the social impact of the right-wing reforms. High unemployment is Slovakia's biggest problem, according to the president.

He also warned that the health reform was too economy oriented, and mentioned high crime rates.

He also appealed for politicians to take a more sober look at social developments and moderate their enthusiasm for the reforms.

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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