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Interior Minister withdraws proposal for €500 fines for insulting public officials

There will be no increase in fines imposed against individuals who insult public officials, as the paragraphs in the proposed laws on such misdemeanours drafted by Interior Ministry officials will be deleted, said Interior Minister Daniel Lipšic on January 2. The original amendment specified that fines for insulting a public official were to be increased from €165 to €500, as reported by the Pravda daily. "I'm quite saddened that this amendment featured more stringent punishments for verbal offences committed against public officials. I consider this to be evidence that some of my colleagues at the ministry have failed to grasp what their job is actually about," said Lipšic, as quoted by TASR, adding that it is unacceptable to give special treatment to public officials. "Because of this, I will also take disciplinary action against the ministry employees responsible," the minister said. But as recently as January 1, Lipšic's spokesman Gábor Grendel was defending the original amendment. "The purpose of this legislation is to protect these individuals from coarse insults and similar verbal attacks that public officials, particularly at local offices of public administration, are facing," Grendel stated, as quoted by Pravda.

There will be no increase in fines imposed against individuals who insult public officials, as the paragraphs in the proposed laws on such misdemeanours drafted by Interior Ministry officials will be deleted, said Interior Minister Daniel Lipšic on January 2. The original amendment specified that fines for insulting a public official were to be increased from €165 to €500, as reported by the Pravda daily.

"I'm quite saddened that this amendment featured more stringent punishments for verbal offences committed against public officials. I consider this to be evidence that some of my colleagues at the ministry have failed to grasp what their job is actually about," said Lipšic, as quoted by TASR, adding that it is unacceptable to give special treatment to public officials. "Because of this, I will also take disciplinary action against the ministry employees responsible," the minister said.

But as recently as January 1, Lipšic's spokesman Gábor Grendel was defending the original amendment. "The purpose of this legislation is to protect these individuals from coarse insults and similar verbal attacks that public officials, particularly at local offices of public administration, are facing," Grendel stated, as quoted by Pravda.

Lipšic admitted that he had not read the amendment before it was submitted for comments and only knew its basic points. "There is no time to read every piece of legislation in detail," he stated.

This past summer Prime Minister Iveta Radičová told the Sme daily that she was an atypical prime minister because she thoroughly read all of her government's bills.

Source: Pravda, TASR, Sme

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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