An amendment to the State Symbols Act submitted to Parliament by a group of coalition MPs from Most-Híd, Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) and the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) was voted down on Thursday. November 4.
A proposal by opposition Smer MP Braňo Ondruš not to continue discussing the amendment was supported by 73 out of 140 MPs present, with 52 against and 15 abstaining. The proposal to dismiss the discussion concerning the act was supported by four coalition MPs: Peter Muránsky and Marián Radošovský of the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), and Kamil Homola and Miroslav Beblavý from the SDKÚ. Beblavý was among those who originally proposed the amendment.
After the vote, Beblavý immediately turned to the chairperson of the session to signal that he had made a mistake; Jozef Mikuš, the head of the SDKÚ caucus later explained that both Homola and Beblavý had erred when voting, the TASR newswire reported.
MPs Ondrej Dostál, Peter Zajac, Peter Osuský (all three of whom represent Most-Híd, but are also members of the Civic Conservative (OKS) faction), Beblavý (SDKÚ) and Jozef Viskupič (SaS) proposed that instead of state symbols being on display in each and every school classroom, education facilities should display a national flag and the texts of the national anthem and the preamble to the constitution in just one place. The coalition grouping also wanted to erase from the law a provision on compulsory patriotism education as part of the state curricula for schools, the SITA newswire wrote.
According to the law on state symbols initiated by then-prime minister Robert Fico, which took effect as of the beginning of the 2010/2011 school year and which is a toned-down version of the original patriotism bill proposed by his then-coalition partner the Slovak National Party (SNS), the national anthem must be played at the beginning and at the end of the school year, before the first and the last sessions of parliament, government and regional governments, and at the beginning of major sporting events.
Source: TASR, SITA
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
5. Nov 2010 at 10:00