In his reaction to Hungarian parliament's chairperson Katalin Szili's fax demanding the rescinding of the amendment to the State Language Act sent to Slovakia's parliamentary chairman Pavol Paška (Smer) on July 24, SNS chairman Ján Slota said that the governing coalition should respond as early as the next session of the Slovak Parliament, the TASR newswire reported.
Slota called the behaviour of the Hungarian parliament arrogant. “I would like to express SNS' embitterment over the way in which they intervene in sovereign Slovakia’s internal affairs,” he said for TASR on July 29. He also said that the Hungarian minority ombudsman has compared Hungary's minority policy to genocide and the Third Reich.
A joint declaration of Hungarian parliamentary parties calling on Slovakia to withdraw the amendment to the State Language Act was adopted on July 20. Meanwhile, Slovakia's Foreign Affairs Ministry has published (in the original English) the final version of the assessment by OSCE Commissioner on National Minorities Knut Vollebaek regarding the Slovak amendment to the Act on the State Language, along with the Slovak translation.
TASR writes that Vollebaek mentions that several changes to the State Language Act, including bilingual names, aren't in contradiction with international standards. Vollebaek describes it as a positive move that officials are no longer required to prove their written and oral knowledge of Slovak as the state language before being hired. However, he can see terminological shortcomings in the Act, and foresees problems with their correct interpretation emerging. Therefore, he recommends that terminology be unified, TASR wrote. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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30. Jul 2009 at 10:00