Opposition party Smer wants the Slovak Constitution to be changed so that it recognises the individual but not collective rights of national minorities. "European legislation does not recognise collective rights, but this concept is incorporated in the new Hungarian constitution," said Smer vice-chairman Marek Maďarič on Wednesday, April 27, after a meeting of the shadow cabinet, as quoted by the SITA newswire.
Maďarič expressed disappointment over how the Slovak government is acting in relation to Hungary. He opined that if a neighbouring country is heading towards what he called an authoritarian regime, the government should shout and warn aloud about what is happening.
The exact wording of the proposed amendment to the constitution has not been released yet. Maďarič said that it is now being fine-tuned and will be delivered to parliament by Friday, April 29, so that MPs can discuss it at their next session starting on May 17. A change to the constitution requires a three-fifths majority, which means that Smer would have to persuade coalition MPs to support the change. Smer will also resubmit an amendment to the law on national citizenship.
Prime Minister Iveta Radičová (Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ)) said she does not think that Slovakia should amend its constitution. "To change the constitution of Slovakia because of the changes to the constitution in Hungary is a sign of weakness. I don't think that when a leaf moves in Hungary, we have to change the fundamental law," Radičová said on Wednesday. She also denied claims by Smer leader Robert Fico that she had promised Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán that she would not criticise Hungary’s new constitution in public.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
28. Apr 2011 at 14:00