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Political roundup

November 2 - German President Horst Kohler visits Slovakia and announces that his country will not lift a ban that currently prevents people from new EU member states from working in Germany. The ban was put in place during accession as part of a transition period by 10 new member states, including Slovakia.

November 2- German President Horst Kohler visits Slovakia and announces that his country will not lift a ban that currently prevents people from new EU member states from working in Germany. The ban was put in place during accession as part of a transition period by 10 new member states, including Slovakia.


November 3 - On an official visit to Germany, Slovak PM Mikuláš Dzurinda reportedly says that the EU "needs a break" from enlargement. The statement causes a major stir back home, since Slovakia is known to openly support Croatia's bid for accession. The government explains Dzurinda's remarks as a "misunderstanding". The prime minister says that he meant to say that the EU must talk about enlargement, but before it can do so, it must first concentrate on the 2007-2013 EU budget.


November 3 - The Bratislava regional branch of the ruling Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) decided to keep Pavol Bielik as a KDH candidate for the November 26 regional elections. Bielik, the mayor of Rača (a suburb of Bratislava), is being sued for accepting a Sk5 million (€131,000) bribe.


November 4 - The opposition parties Smer and the Movement for Democracy (HZD) ask Agriculture Minister Zsolt Simon to resign after the media reveals that he allocated state subsidies to his agricultural company while he was agricultural minister. The opposition never initiated a vote of confidence in parliament, however, and Simon kept his post.


November 7 - Slovak PM Mikuláš Dzurinda, President Ivan Gašparovič and Speaker of Parliament Pavol Hrušovský make a public pledge to help Croatia complete its EU accession talks. The president stresses that Slovakia's policy towards enlargement in general remains unchanged.


November 8 - The Slovak parliament approves a law helping transform the Slovak army to a fully professional force by 2006. According to the draft bill on alternative military service, the civil service should cease to exist starting January 1, 2006.


November 9 - Pavol Rusko, chairman of the opposition New Citizen's Alliance (ANO), releases a secret recording to police that shows former ANO MP Iveta Henzélyová confessing that an unidentified group of people allegedly tried to offer her money in exchange for her vote in parliament.


November 9 - The parliament hears a report summarizing Slovakia's first year in the EU. The report evaluates accession as "beneficial and positive for the development of the country".


November 9 - The Slovak cabinet appoints Timotej Miština as the new deputy agriculture minister. Miština replaces Marián Radošovský, who stepped down for receiving agricultural subsidies on behalf of his farm while serving at the ministry. His boss, Agriculture Minister Zsolt Simon, did the same thing but kept his job.


November 9 - Five thousand people gathered at a peace march for student Daniel Tupý, killed for no apparent reason by a group believed to be skinheads.


November 15 - Ľubomír Lintner, the head of an ANO breakaway group, rejects allegations that his splinter party tried to bribe independent MP Iveta Henzélyová in exchange for her support.


November 21 - The Slovak central bank ends a public poll in which Slovaks vote for their favourite motif on the so-called national side of the future euro. Of the 10 proposed motifs, the Slovak Lorraine cross won the most votes. The NBS will decide on which motif will actually be on the coins in December, taking into consideration public opinion.


November 26 - Just 18 percent of Slovaks cast their vote in the country's second regional elections, in which 412 regional councillors were selected for eight higher territorial units (VÚCs). Slovaks also voted for chairmen of the VÚCs; however, no candidates earned the required 50 percent majority, forcing run-off elections on December 10 between the two strongest candidates. The one with more votes wins.

Of the parliamentary parties, the KDH performed the best, taking 87 councillor seats, followed by the opposition party Smer with 70 seats, and the ruling Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) with 64 seats.


November 29 - The SDKÚ suspends the membership of Jozef Choluj, caught taking a Sk10,000 (€263) bribe. The cabinet later dismissed Choluj as a regional councillor, which he had won just three days before in a mandate.


Compiled by Spectator staff with SITA reports.

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