On September 10, Justice Minister Štefan Harabin publicly apologised to parliament for inappropriate words during last week's extraordinary parliamentary session to debate his recall.
However, he stopped short of a direct apology to his political opponent and predecessor, opposition Christian-Democratic Movement (KDH) MP Daniel Lipšic, to whom he had addressed remarks regarded as anti-Semitic. "I want to publicly apologise for my inappropriate words. Such words really do not belong on parliamentary soil … If I accidentally insulted someone in the heat of the moment, I apologise," he said in the parliamentary chamber, adding that he rejects any link to anti-Semitism.
The Justice Minister’s apology came after days of criticism from the local Jewish community. He did not, however, avoid criticism of Lipšic. Harabin said that he had always pushed for tougher penalties for Holocaust denial and said that Lipšic had approved the cancellation of such penalties. Lipšic has said several times in the past that Holocaust denial should be protected by freedom of speech and should not be considered a criminal deed.
On Tuesday, September 9, the opposition failed to pass a resolution condemning Harabin's statements after the governing coalition refused to debate it. SITA
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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10. Sep 2008 at 19:00