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Coalition won’t submit or support any fundamental changes to the Press Code

On April 3, the Coalition Council agreed at its meeting to support changes to the Press Code proposed by Smer-SD MP Ján Podmanický, which are to be discussed in the media committee, the SITA newswire wrote. Prime Minister Robert Fico said on on Thursday that coalition partners had submitted no new proposals; however, he added that some amendments by both coalition and opposition MPs may be proposed in parliament.

On April 3, the Coalition Council agreed at its meeting to support changes to the Press Code proposed by Smer-SD MP Ján Podmanický, which are to be discussed in the media committee, the SITA newswire wrote. Prime Minister Robert Fico said on on Thursday that coalition partners had submitted no new proposals; however, he added that some amendments by both coalition and opposition MPs may be proposed in parliament.

Fico added that he was convinced that the coalition had solved all the fundamental objections and complaints of international institutions. But these institutions consider the changes approved a week ago in the media committee session insufficient – for instance, the right for someone referred to in a newspaper story to have a reponse published irrespective of whether the original information printed about them was true. Fico thinks that the veracity of information has nothing to do with complainants’ right to a reply. This right will be applied in cases of factual statements interfering in private honour, personal life, or good reputation. If the publisher believes that the conditions for printing a reply are not fulfilled, he or she need not publish it, and the person involved can file a court suit. A court will then have to decide whether the right to an answer exists, or not. If it were to rule that a case exists, the court would have the power to order fine of up to 150,000Sk, and the answer would have to be published in the same position as the original article. SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports

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