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President calls for compromise on Lisbon Treaty

Speaker of Parliament Pavol Paška of the ruling party SMER-SD convened a

Speaker of Parliament Pavol Paška of the ruling party SMER-SD convened a

meeting between the heads of all opposition parties - Mikuláš Dzurinda, Pavol Hrušovský and Pál Csáky - on January 30 in an effort to persuade them to vote for the Lisbon Treaty.

The ruling coalition is concerned that the Treaty will not be ratified if the Opposition votes against it, as the parties have threatened to do. Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič attended the meeting as well, joining in on the search for a compromise.

The opposition announced on January 28 that it would stay away from parliamentary debate and voting on the new EU Treaty if Speaker of Parliament Pavol Paška did not withdraw the draft of the controversial Press Act from the parliamentary agenda. The Opposition thinks that the bill, which has come in for criticism from the OSCE as well, violates freedom of the press.

President Gasparovic said that opposition and coalition would meet again later on January 30 to discuss their stance toward the Lisbon Treaty. Voting is to be held at 5 p.m. that day. SITA

p>Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports

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