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Fico: I won't use newly-introduced right to respond in media

Prime Minister Robert Fico doesn't intend to make use of the 'right to respond' that has recently been introduced by a new Press Act approved by the Cabinet, it was reported on January 9. According to Fico, he can have his say at press conferences or on other occasions. According to him, nobody should get the feeling that the Government will respond to something every other or every day. However, "ministers will indeed be able to respond individually."

Prime Minister Robert Fico doesn't intend to make use of the 'right to respond' that has recently been introduced by a new Press Act approved by the Cabinet, it was reported on January 9. According to Fico, he can have his say at press conferences or on other occasions. According to him, nobody should get the feeling that the Government will respond to something every other or every day. However, "ministers will indeed be able to respond individually."

The new Act applies to both individuals and legal entities, Fico says. They lead their private lives and are often ridiculed by the media and have no chance to even say 'boo'.

"Elsewhere, it's a standard feature that forms part of all press laws," he said.

According to the Act, an individual or legal entity will be able to execute their newly-introduced right to respond if information affecting their honour, dignity, privacy, name or reputation has been published. In such case, they will be able to present a request for the publication of a response within 30 days, which, within another three days will have to be published in the same typeface and in an equally prominent place.

The new legislation also establishes the responsibility of a publisher for the contents of periodical press and that of a press agency for its news service. No information promoting war and cruel or inhumane behaviour, including igniting hatred towards another race, sex, religion or political conviction, can be published. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports

The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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