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DIPLOMATIC SHORTS

Opposition explains its stance on Lisbon Treaty to EU Ambassadors

SLOVAK parliamentary opposition parties SDKÚ, KDH and SMK invited European Union (EU) ambassadors to parliament on February 1 to explain their position on the vote to ratify the Lisbon Treaty, the SITA newswire wrote.

SLOVAK parliamentary opposition parties SDKÚ, KDH and SMK invited European Union (EU) ambassadors to parliament on February 1 to explain their position on the vote to ratify the Lisbon Treaty, the SITA newswire wrote.

After meeting with the ambassadors, SDKÚ chairman and former prime minister Mikuláš Dzurinda told journalists that the ambassadors understood their stance, so Fico's talk of the EU's shock had been exaggerated.

KDH Chairman Pavol Hrušovský said that the intention of the meeting was not to influence the ambassadors but to inform them of the reasons behind the opposition's disapproval. According to SMK leader Pál Csáky, the coalition is not leading political negotiations with the opposition in order to agree upon approval of the Lisbon Treaty. He thinks that at the moment, it is the President's obligation to act, as neither PM Fico nor Speaker of Parliament Pavol Paška seem capable of calling a roundtable discussion, and criticised them for failing to take action.

Slovak Parliament launched a debate on the EU's Lisbon Treaty on January 29. Though the opposition announced it would not take part in the vote on this document unless a wider consensus was reached on the governmental draft press bill, its MPs did not propose to entirely omit the treaty from the agenda. However, the initiative to remove the draft press bill from the agenda of the ongoing session ultimately failed.

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