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President vetoes Patriotism Act

PRESIDENT Ivan Gašparovič returned the Patriotism Act drawn up by the Slovak National Party (SNS) to parliament.

PRESIDENT Ivan Gašparovič returned the Patriotism Act drawn up by the Slovak National Party (SNS) to parliament.

“I won't sign it for pragmatic reasons,” Gašparovič said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. He said he did not have problems with the content of the Act, he rather objected to the date when it was meant to come into effect – April 1. According to Gašparovič, schools do not have sufficient time to prepare for the bill. He also did not consider April Fool’s Day to be ‘dignified’ enough for a law such as the Patriotism Act to become effective.

“This date provokes a smile and it’s not appropriate to set the effectiveness of such law with such a date,” he said as quoted by the Sme daily.

Earlier, Prime Minister Robert Fico had asked the president to return the Patriotism Act, which attracted a great deal of criticism, to parliament so that it could be modified to come into effect as of September. Fico also said he supports the bill.

Gašparovič said that the bill can be amended in the next parliamentary term and put under the State Symbols Act, TASR reported.


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