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EP member says Slovakia’s new Language Act is discriminatory

The new Language Act that was passed by the Slovak parliament on June 30 does not comply with European standards and will lead to discrimination against minorities, the deputy chairman of the foreign affairs committee of the European Parliament, Michael Gahler, said on July 9, as reported by the SITA newswire.

The new Language Act that was passed by the Slovak parliament on June 30 does not comply with European standards and will lead to discrimination against minorities, the deputy chairman of the foreign affairs committee of the European Parliament, Michael Gahler, said on July 9, as reported by the SITA newswire.

According to Gahler, the law practically criticises the use of the minority languages in some areas which he finds to be not only totally inappropriate but capable of leading to absurd situations: for instance, at a cultural event which is attended only by people speaking a minority language, the Slovak language still must have priority.

“Slovakia is thus violating the standards used in the EU and the respective recommendations of the European Council which set the rules for the use of the minority languages,” the German MEP said in criticising Slovakia’s law, as quoted by SITA.

The MEP claimed the Slovak government has again shown that it is not interested in real mutual cohabitation of the various nationality groups in the country and it does not feel obliged to follow European values. He also criticised Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico’s statements about Hungarian irredentism.

“Mr. Fico and his coalition partners have not yet grown up spiritually and politically for Europe,” Gahler said.

He also said that Slovakia is on a route to discredit itself and to become a state that controls its citizens as was done in the past, SITA reported. SITA

Compiled by Michaela Stanková from press reports
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