Slovakia's largest governing party, Smer, has become a full member of the Party of European Socialists (PES), one of the largest factions in the European Parliament, after PES members voted overwhelmingly to admit the party on Tuesday, December 8, Smer spokeswoman Katarína Kližanová-Rýsová said.
PES suspended Smer’s membership in October 2006 after it agreed to enter a governing coalition with the right-wing Slovak National Party (SNS). The head of the European socialists, Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, said PES had acted in line with the Berlin Declaration of 2001 that specified that member parties should not associate or work with political parties that incite racial hatred or ethnic prejudice, of which the SNS was deemed to be guilty. Smer’s readmission to PES comes despite its continued coalition with the SNS.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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