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President Gašparovič again refuses to sign amendment to State Language Act

Rules for the use of Slovak – as defined in the current State Language Act passed under the previous Robert Fico-led government – will be toned down as of March, even though President Ivan Gašparovič has again refused to sign an amendment to the State Language Act that he had previously vetoed. The amended law was originally set to become effective as of January, but Gašparovič' veto delayed the process, the TASR newswire wrote.

Rules for the use of Slovak – as defined in the current State Language Act passed under the previous Robert Fico-led government – will be toned down as of March, even though President Ivan Gašparovič has again refused to sign an amendment to the State Language Act that he had previously vetoed. The amended law was originally set to become effective as of January, but Gašparovič' veto delayed the process, the TASR newswire wrote.

He objected that the amendment allows the Culture Ministry to decide whether or not to impose sanctions for violations of the law. The president insisted that the formulation "may impose" should be replaced by "shall impose". Lawmakers ignored his proposal, overruling his veto and approving the amendment on February 2. His present refusal to sign the law will therefore have no effect.

The amendment, as submitted by the Culture Ministry, reduces the number of situations in which sanctions for misuse of Slovak, or failure to use it, will apply. Most importantly, penalties – the most criticised aspect of the law – will as of March only be imposed in cases in which information affecting the lives, health, security or property of Slovak citizens is concerned, or in which information published by public administration authorities is not presented in Slovak.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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