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Culture minister Maďarič: OSCE analysis lends approval to amended State Language Act

An analysis of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) High Commissioner Office for national minorities gives a thumbs up to the amended version of the Slovak State Language, Slovakia's Culture Minister Marek Maďarič said following the official release of the analysis, wrote newswire TASR.

An analysis of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) High Commissioner Office for national minorities gives a thumbs up to the amended version of the Slovak State Language, Slovakia's Culture Minister Marek Maďarič said following the official release of the analysis, wrote newswire TASR.

Maďarič was reacting to opposition Hungarian Coalition Party’s (SMK) declaration on July 21 that the Slovak Government had jumped the gun on the OSCE assessment earlier in the day.

"SMK might have not realised it, but, its stance first of all also confirms the veracity of this most substantial result – that the amendment on the state language follows a legitimate goal – and that as a whole it's in line with international standards," Maďarič said as quoted by TASR.

He recalled that the aspects mentioned by the party, such as the law on the usage of the languages of ethnic minorities, aren't in direct connection with the State Language Act.

"Uttered and unsubstantiated suspicion by SMK on purposefully inaccurate English translation of the Act just points to SMK's helplessness ... when the high commissioner of OSCE confirmed our stance, and states that the amendment of the law is in accordance with Slovakia's international commitments," said Madaric.

SMK conceded on July 22 that the assessment of the OSCE high commissioner indicates that the State Language Act observes a legitimate goal and, on the whole, is in keeping with international standards.

However, SMK expresses a set of suspicions about the concordance between international documents and the Slovak Constitution. At the same time, SMK representatives suspect that the English translation of the law, used by Slovakia's Foreign Affairs Ministry, is purposefully inaccurate, according to TASR.

The SMK also pointed out that OSCE statement says that the Ministerial Council of the Council of Europe has twice proposed to Slovakia to adopt positive elements of the Framework Convention of the Council of Europe, as well as the European Charter on Regional or Minority Languages to Slovakia's legal order, but so far without success.

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