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IN SHORT

Defence minister's powers increase

SLOVAKIA's defence minister has the power to decide whether aircraft violating Slovak airspace should be shot down, according to revisions to the Slovak law on the armed forces and the Aviation Act, which the cabinet approved on September 7.

Currently, the cabinet had to approve such a decision.

According to the proposal, an aircraft that is deemed a threat to public safety could be shot down, assuming it is the only way to ward off the danger.

If approved by parliament, the amendment will come into force in November 2005.

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