SLOVAKIA MAY ADOPT NEW LAW ON MINORITY LANGUAGES

Posted on in Politica e lingue 32 vedi

SLOVAKIA MAY ADOPT NEW LAW ON MINORITY LANGUAGES

BRATISLAVA, MARCH 12 (REUTERS) – SLOVAKIA MAY ADOPT A NEW LAW ON MINORITY LANGUAGES TO ANSWER INTERNATIONAL CRITICISM OF ITS TREATMENT OF ETHNIC HUNGARIANS, A SENIOR FOREIGN MINISTRY OFFICIAL SAID ON THURSDAY.
IN 1995 PARLIAMENT APPROVED A LAW MAKING SLOVAK THE ONLY OFFICIAL LANGUAGE, PROMPTING PROTESTS FROM THE 500,000 ETHNIC HUNGARIANS WHO MAKE UP 10 PERCENT OF SLOVAKIA’S POPULATION. THE LAW IS THE SUBJECT OF CONTINUING CRITICISM FROM THE EUROPEAN UNION.
SLOVAKIA’S AUTHORITIES HAVE SO FAR REJECTED THE CRITICISM, SAYING THE COUNTRY ALREADY HAD MANY LAWS ALLOWING THE USE OF MINORITY LANGUAGES.
PETER BURIAN, DIRECTOR OF THE MINISTRY’S SECTION DEALING WITH THE PRESS AND HUMAN RIGHTS, SAID SLOVAKIA MIGHT CONSIDER A SPECIAL LAW ON MINORITY LANGUAGES.
"EUROPEAN EXPERTS WOULD LIKE US TO SUMMARISE ALL THE PARTIAL RULINGS INTO THE ONE COMPLETE LAW ON MINORITY LANGUAGES…IT IS POSSIBLE THAT A COMMON SUGGESTION WILL COME OUT FROM THIS EXPERT LEVEL, TO ADOPT SUCH A LAW," BURIAN SAID.
HE WAS SPEAKING AT A NEWS CONFERENCE AFTER TALKS WITH EXPERTS FROM THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL, THE ORGANISATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE AND THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION. HE SAID TALKS, INITIATED BY THE SLOVAK GOVERNMENT LAST NOVEMBER, WILL CONTINUE OVER COMING MONTHS.
BURIAN SAID IT REMAINED UNCLEAR WHETHER SLOVAKIA COULD MANAGE TO PASS A LAW THIS YEAR BECAUSE OF GENERAL ELECTIONS SCHEDULED FOR SEPTEMBER.
THE GOVERNMENT OF CONTROVERSIAL PRIME MINISTER VLADIMIR MECIAR HAS BEEN REPEATEDLY CRITICISED BY THE UNITED STATES AND THE EUROPEAN UNION FOR SHORTCOMINGS IN DEMOCRATIC REFORMS.
THE 1995 LAW MAKING SLOVAK THE ONLY LANGUAGE FOR OFFICIAL COMMUNICATION SPARKED PROTESTS BY ETHNIC HUNGARIANS AND NEIGHBOURING HUNGARY.
TENSIONS BETWEEN SLOVAKS AND HUNGARIANS DATE FROM THE AUSTRO-HUNGARIAN EMPIRE WHEN BUDAPEST RULED WHAT IS NOW SLOVAKIA. HOWEVER, THE TWO COMMUNITIES GENERALLY LIVE IN PEACE DESPITE A WAR OF WORDS BETWEEN POLITICIANS.
13-03-98




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