The Slovak Parliament passed an amendment to the State Symbols Act to its second reading on Tuesday, April 27, with 81 legislators backing the initiative, the TASR newswire reported.
Those backing the amendment included MPs from the Slovak National Party (SNS), a junior member of the governing coalition, even though they had earlier dismissed the initiative as a "stratagem". The SNS was unhappy with the amendment, which was put forward by Prime Minister and co-governing Smer party leader Robert Fico, because it in effect replaces the SNS’s so-called Patriot Act, which was approved by parliament earlier this year but later vetoed by President Ivan Gašparovič.
The State Symbols Act will now require that children in state, church and private schools be played the Slovak national anthem twice a year - at the beginning and at the end of the school year. The Slovak flag, the lyrics of the national anthem and the preamble to the Slovak Constitution will have to be displayed in every classroom. The initiative was considered in fast-tracked legislative proceedings.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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28. Apr 2010 at 10:00