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Change may come to minority laws

THE SLOVAK government will soon re-evaluate the criteria for use of minority languages in matters of public administration, said the Deputy Prime Minister for Minorities, Rudolf Chmel, as reported by the TASR newswire on August 13.

THE SLOVAK government will soon re-evaluate the criteria for use of minority languages in matters of public administration, said the Deputy Prime Minister for Minorities, Rudolf Chmel, as reported by the TASR newswire on August 13.

The Commission of Ministers of the Council of Europe (CoE) gave certain recommendations to Slovakia to improve its compliance with the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

The report of the second round of the charter implementation process in Slovakia was acted upon by parliament on Wednesday, August 11. According to the recommendations, Slovakia should re-evaluate the requirement, set out in the country’s language law, that a minority language can be used in public administrative dealings only when 20 percent of local inhabitants speak a different language.

“We will re-evaluate it based on the recommendations,” TASR quoted Chmel as saying.


According to him, the threshold should be lowered to 10 percent. However, the CoE report noted that this would not eliminate problems for speakers of Bulgarian or Polish languages. Chmel said the issue would be resolved in a different way for these and other smaller minorities.


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