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Hungarian minority criticises revised language act

The Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) harshly criticised the amendment to the Act on State Language approved by Parliament on June 30.

The Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) harshly criticised the amendment to the Act on State Language approved by Parliament on June 30.

“I think that to impose fines for incorrect use of language in an EU member country is an anachronism and it is unacceptable,” SMK leader Pál Csáky told the SITA newswire. “The SMK will compare the new law with the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and will open up the topic to the Council of Europe and the OSCE.”

The amended law introduces fines for the use of incorrect Slovak beginning in September 2009.
The law enables the Ministry of Culture to exercise stricter supervision over the use of correct Slovak. Fines may be up to €5,000.

Culture Minister Marek Maďarič claims that the re-introduction of sanctions, which had been cancelled in 1999, will make the law enforceable. The ministry said it will punish neither misuse of the language by individual persons nor their use of substandard language.

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