NEWS IN SHORT

Sólyom angers Slovak government

A STATEMENT made by Hungary’s President László Sólyom during a visit to Serbia on March 13, that Hungarians living in Slovakia, Serbia and Romania should learn the state language only as a foreign language, has been denounced by Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico as an attack on the integrity of Slovakia.

A STATEMENT made by Hungary’s President László Sólyom during a visit to Serbia on March 13, that Hungarians living in Slovakia, Serbia and Romania should learn the state language only as a foreign language, has been denounced by Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico as an attack on the integrity of Slovakia.

“This is designed to disintegrate the Slovak Republic and its statehood,” Fico announced at a news conference on March 15, as quoted by the SITA newswire.

Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák said that the Hungarian president has repeatedly demonstrated his lack of sensitivity toward neighbouring countries with a Hungarian minority.

According to Foreign Ministry spokesman Peter Stano, President Sólyom should first of all make sure that his country is fulfilling its international obligations with respect to its minorities. This, he said, was the 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, Slovakia’s Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) told the TASR newswire.


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