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Kiska: Slovaks in US should present ideas to help Slovakia

SLOVAKS living abroad should not forget their homeland, and should come up with ideas that would help Slovakia, Slovak President Andrej Kiska told the Slovak community living in the US during the Slovak Heritage Festival in Holmdel, New Jersey on September 28.

SLOVAKS living abroad should not forget their homeland, and should come up with ideas that would help Slovakia, Slovak President Andrej Kiska told the Slovak community living in the US during the Slovak Heritage Festival in Holmdel, New Jersey on September 28.

“Slovakia is a wonderful country with people who work hard, and I’m very proud to be the president of that country,” Kiska said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “But Slovakia also needs help; it needs improvements in many aspects. Therefore, I ask those of you who have become successful not to forget your homeland.”

For his part, the president pledged to the thousands of people of Slovak descent who came to Holmdel from across the US to back all those who think of ways to help Slovakia. The Slovak delegation also brought 500 Slovak grammar textbooks to support the teaching of Slovak in the US, according to the President’s webpage.

Slovakia’s Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák accompanied Kiska and told the festival attendees that the Slovak Government is pushing for an amendment to the so-called Dual Citizenship Act, which prevents Slovaks from obtaining dual citizenship and was passed during the first cabinet of Prime Minister Robert Fico in 2010.

Altogether more than 880 people have been deprived of their Slovak citizenship since the amendment went into effect. The law was adopted in response to the Hungarian Dual Citizenship Act, which cleared the path for ethnic Hungarians living abroad to gain Hungarian citizenship. Most of those who have lost their Slovak citizenship were granted citizenship in the Czech Republic, followed by Germany, Austria and Hungary.

“We’re concerned about the fact that you’re suffering the consequences of the legislation, which was approved for a completely different reason,” Lajčák said, as quoted by TASR. “We’re about to debate a legislative proposal that will enable people who have been deprived of their Slovak citizenship in the meantime to retain dual citizenship. They will be able to reapply for it and should obtain it.”

(Source: TASR, President’s webpage)

Compiled by Roman Cuprik from press reports
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