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Opposition MPs criticise SMK trip to US over State Language Act

The upcoming trip to the United States by a delegation from the ethnic-Hungarian SMK party to lobby against the Slovak State Language Act came under fire from several opposition MPs from SDKU and KDH on Monday, the TASR newswire wrote.

The upcoming trip to the United States by a delegation from the ethnic-Hungarian SMK party to lobby against the Slovak State Language Act came under fire from several opposition MPs from SDKU and KDH on Monday, the TASR newswire wrote.

"If there is a problem in this issue in their (SMK) view, it should be resolved at home and not dragged abroad," TASR was told by former education minister Martin Fronc from KDH.

In the background of this initiative of the Opposition partner SMK Fronc sees next year's Parliamentary election campaign and the fight for (Hungarian) voters between Bela Bugar's new Most-Hid party and SMK (established in 1997).

"It's clearly this way ... just as is the case with Smer and SNS," explained Fronc.

The manner in which SMK proceeds against the language act obscures the substance of the problem in that people of Slovak origin, too, are affected by the need to adhere to this legislation, said MP Tatiana Rosova (SDKU-DS),.

TA3 television said that the Hungarian lobby in the U.S. is trying to push for the American Congress to approve a Resolution that would condemn the Slovak State Language Act. Csaky confirmed that he spoke with representatives of the Hungarians in the US and already has an invitation for the SMK delegation to go there.

"I hope that the next step will be a hearing before the U.S. Congressional Foreign Committee. If the Slovak Government doesn't change its stance on the amendment, experts with arguments will take their turn illustrating how Slovakia has violated international agreements," TA3 was told by Max Teleki from the Hungarian-American Coalition. The lobbyist has already informed "several Congressmen" about the issue.

The SMK decision to send a delegation to the U.S. is considered by the Culture Minister Marek Madaric (Smer-SD) to be an unprecedented campaign and effort to export abroad what he calls lies about the State Language Act. He said he doesn't exclude the possibility that this initiative will have a diplomatic aftermath. TASR

Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports
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