Slovakia’s largest governing coalition party, Smer, joined forces with opposition parties in parliament on December 3 to pass an amendment on the use of geographical terms used in minority language school textbooks.
Smer acted without the support of its two coalition partners, the Slovak National Party (SNS) and the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS). They had opposed its plan to have geographical terms printed in both Slovak and the mother tongue of textbooks used in minority language schools. The measure will apply to textbooks used in Hungarian language schools.
All but two HZDS deputies voted against the Smer amendment. The party had requested that textbooks for ethnic minorities include exclusively Slovak geographical terms. SNS deputies, who had similar objections to the use of non-Slovak place-names in school textbooks, walked out of parliament after failing to stop the vote on the amendment. The SNS insists the change is at odds with the Constitution and the government’s programme. SITA
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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3. Dec 2008 at 20:00