Slovak Prime Minister Fico criticises remarks by the president of Hungary

The statement by Hungarian President Laszlo Solyom that members of the Hungarian minority in Slovakia, Serbia and Romania should learn the state language only as a foreign language is an attack on the integrity of Slovakia, Prime Minister Robert Fico said, as reported by the SITA newswire.

The statement by Hungarian President Laszlo Solyom that members of the Hungarian minority in Slovakia, Serbia and Romania should learn the state language only as a foreign language is an attack on the integrity of Slovakia, Prime Minister Robert Fico said, as reported by the SITA newswire.

“This is designed to disintegrate the Slovak Republic and its statehood,” Fico announced on March 15 at a news conference, as quoted by SITA. Slovak Minister of Foreign Affairs Miroslav Lajčák said that the Hungarian president has repeatedly demonstrated his lack of sensitivity toward neighbouring countries with a Hungarian minority.

Hungarian President László Sólyom said during his visit to Serbia that members of the Hungarian minority in Slovakia, Serbia and Romania should learn the state language only as a foreign language.

According to the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s spokesman, Peter Stano, President Solyom should first of all make sure that his country is fulfilling its international obligations with respect to its minorities. This was the very issue the Council of Europe was referring to when it said that “Hungary has taken an approach that will make it difficult to save minority languages from fundamental decline”.

Fico’s response to statements made by Sólyom was oversensitive, the Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) told TASR. “Today’s statement made by Robert Fico is perhaps nothing but an over-compensation for the way he pointed to the imprudent way of preparing the Patriot Act and the poor quality of the law,” SMK said in its statement. The statement continues that SMK has been emphasizing that issues concerning teaching any language is a professional issue, not a political one. SITA, TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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