PARLIAMENTARY deputies for the ruling Slovak National Party (SNS) Rafael Rafaj and Ján Slota have submitted a draft law to parliament which they say is intended to support patriotism, the SITA newswire reported.
The MPs’ plan would create mechanisms in which the ministries of culture and education, the Office for Slovaks Living Abroad and the cultural organisation Matica Slovenská would play the most important roles. In its eight articles, the draft law proposes education in patriotism at schools and introduces an “oath of loyalty” to the Slovak Republic. The law would require the state insignia, the state flag, the text of the national anthem and the preamble of the constitution to be displayed in each classroom. According to the draft, the public-service media and organs of the state and regional governments would bear responsibility for supporting patriotism.
Speaker of Parliament Pavol Paška, a member of Prime Minister Robert Fico’s ruling Smer party, told SITA on November 24 that the Smer parliamentary caucus had not agreed on how to vote on the law. He said he himself would not vote in favour of it.
Paška said that he understands the SNS proposal as part of the party’s legitimate efforts to anchor in the legislative system a certain sphere of its policy. However, he said he did not think that the SNS is on the right track to better national awareness. Paška said he expects a heated discussion about the draft.