Slovak political parties wary of ACTA and some reject it entirely

Even though the co-ruling Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) party supports the concept of protection of intellectual property, it has certain reservations about the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in its current form, said SDKÚ MP Ivan Štefanec to the TASR newswire on January 30. "The manner in which this agreement was prepared raises suspicions in how it was submitted to the [EU's] Agriculture [and Fisheries] Council ... We suspect that in the draft there are elements restricting freedom of speech on the internet and elements restricting free competition," Štefanec stated, adding that an amendment to existing Slovak laws would be enough to tackle the perceived lack of protection of intellectual property here.

Even though the co-ruling Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) party supports the concept of protection of intellectual property, it has certain reservations about the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in its current form, said SDKÚ MP Ivan Štefanec to the TASR newswire on January 30.

"The manner in which this agreement was prepared raises suspicions in how it was submitted to the [EU's] Agriculture [and Fisheries] Council ... We suspect that in the draft there are elements restricting freedom of speech on the internet and elements restricting free competition," Štefanec stated, adding that an amendment to existing Slovak laws would be enough to tackle the perceived lack of protection of intellectual property here.

The opposition Slovak National Party (SNS) told the media that it has not yet adopted a final stance on the issue.

"This agreement violates human rights and contributes to significant restrictions on the use of the internet ... It deals with counterfeiting only marginally and it calls copies, and not only imitations, counterfeits," said Iveta Adamová, spokesperson for the Ordinary People and Independent Personalities party.

Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party said that it will not support the proposed ACTA legislation if its suspicions regarding restricting human rights are valid. Even though it is the Economy Ministry that should submit the ACTA legislation for government discussion, it is possible that Economy Minister Juraj Miškov (from SaS) will not support the legislation. The Economy Ministry’s spokesperson, Daniela Piršelová, said the bill must be submitted for ministerial comment first and it is not clear whether the whole process will be concluded before the March 10 election.

Representatives of the EU and its 22 member countries signed ACTA last week in Tokyo and the international treaty has significant governmental and institutional support across the world. The Slovak signature to the document is missing as the treaty must first be approved by the government and parliament.

Source: TASR

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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