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SMK party chariman says its proposals will be part of Hungary's new Constitution

Three proposals submitted by Slovakia's ethnic-Hungarian SMK party were taken into account in drawing up Hungary's new Constitution, SMK chair József Berényi said at a press conference following his meeting with Ján Fuzik, the chairman of the Countrywide Slovak Self-Government in Hungary on March 28, the TASR newswire wrote.

Three proposals submitted by Slovakia's ethnic-Hungarian SMK party were taken into account in drawing up Hungary's new Constitution, SMK chair József Berényi said at a press conference following his meeting with Ján Fuzik, the chairman of the Countrywide Slovak Self-Government in Hungary on March 28, the TASR newswire wrote.

Berenyi said that the SMK’s three proposals were similar to ideas coming from other ethnic minorities living in Hungary.

The new Hungarian Constitution is currently being discussed by the Hungarian parliament and is expected to be adopted on April 18. SMK promoted a reference to ethnic minorities as state-building entities, advocated stronger protection for the use of minority languages, and a guarantee for ethnic minorities to have representation in parliament as parts of the new constitution.

The Countrywide Slovak Self-Government in Hungary stated that it disagrees with abolishing the post of ombudsman for ethnic minorities. "The loss of an independent national ombudsman would mean abolition of another important pillar of the Minority Act," said Fuzik as quoted by TASR. He added that the law has been in place for 18 years, and can serve as an example for the whole of Europe. He noted, however, that minorities have lost some significant amenities since 2003, including an independent office for ethnic minorities and a public foundation.

Berényi announced that SMK will turn to the Countrywide Slovak Self-Government in defence of its interests in mixed Slovak-Hungarian commissions, as that organisation has its representatives directly in Hungary, unlike the SMK.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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