The Serbian Ministry for Diaspora stated today that the Slovak government has decided to recognise Serbs in Slovakia as a national minority which will ensure them protection of their rights according to international law and inter-state agreements on the protection of national minorities.
According to a statement issued by the Ministry for Diaspora, the decision was made in a recommendation by Deputy Prime Minister of Slovakia, Dusan Caplovic. This decision will protect the Serbian community from all forms of discrimination.
By adopting the Law on Diaspora and Serbs in the region, the first of its kind, Serbia has shown that it is committed to resolving issues of status for Serbs living in various countries in the region in order to ensure their basic freedoms and political, economic, social, cultural and other rights.
The Ministry for Diaspora supports the efforts of the Serbian community in Albania, Slovenia and Austria to acquire national minority status which would improve their position.
Post by TsarSamuil on Mar 21, 2010 10:39:44 GMT -5
18:40 GMT, Friday, 19 March 2010
Slovak President Gasparovic sends back patriotism law.
By Rob Cameron BBC News
Ivan Gasparovic said he was in favour of the law
The president of Slovakia has vetoed a controversial patriotism law passed recently by parliament.
The law, which among other things would require schools to play the Slovak national anthem every Monday, was due to come into force on 1 April.
But President Ivan Gasparovic says schools have not had enough time to conform to it.
There has been a public outcry over the law, drawn up by a nationalist party in the governing coalition.
Schools in particular complained they did not have enough money to pay for flags, coats of arms and other symbols of Slovak statehood that the law says must adorn every classroom.
Neither, said the schools, were there enough loudspeakers to play the national anthem every Monday morning.
President Gasparovic told reporters he was totally in favour of the law. The only problem, he said, was its timing.
He has now returned it to parliament to be amended to September.
Observers, however, believe there are other forces at work, saying Prime Minister Robert Fico put pressure on the president not to sign it.
Mr Fico and his party originally supported the law, but were evidently caught off guard by the scale of public opposition to it.
The Slovak National Party, which drafted the bill, said it was a response to developments in neighbouring Hungary, where nationalist politicians have been making inflammatory comments about Slovakia and the treatment of its large Hungarian minority.
This is an election year in both Slovakia and Hungary, and the nationalist rhetoric on both sides of the Danube is becoming increasingly belligerent.
Post by TsarSamuil on Mar 29, 2010 13:20:25 GMT -5
Teaching Slovak as a foreign tongue - in Slovakia.
Spectator.sme.sk 29 Mar 2010 Michaela Stanková Politics & Society
THE DEBATE about how to teach Slovak at minority schools where Hungarian is the normal language of instruction is not new to Slovakia. Despite that, it never fails to generate political heat, as can be seen from the reaction to recent statements by Hungary’s president on the subject. Along with heat, the row prompted the nationalist-controlled Education Ministry to draft a controversial proposal that was passed immediately by the government.
Teachers’ representatives from Slovakia’s Hungarian community say this signals an early salvo in the forthcoming general election campaign. ‘Playing the Hungarian card’ – attempting to stir up Slovak nationalist sentiment based on fear of Hungary and Hungarians – has been a regular feature of recent Slovak elections, as has political and ideological interference in areas such as education. Irrespective of the motive, however, it is not clear whether the Education Ministry will be able to amend the State Educational Programme before the end of the present government’s term.
On March 13, during a visit to Serbia, Hungary’s President László Sólyom stated that Hungarians living in Slovakia, Serbia and Romania should learn the state language in each country only as a foreign language. His comments were immediately denounced by Slovak politicians including Prime Minister Robert Fico, who called the statement an attack on the integrity of Slovakia and an attempt to disintegrate its statehood.
Only days later, at a government session on March 17, Education Minister Ján Mikolaj – a nominee of the Slovak National Party (SNS) – tabled a surprise proposal to change how Slovak is taught at minority-language schools. The proposal, which was passed immediately by the government without being submitted for the usual process of interdepartmental review, will lead to special testing of Slovak language knowledge. The State School Inspectorate should now carry out frequent inspections at the schools in question – the vast majority of which teach in Hungarian – and base recommendations for improving Slovak-language teaching on their results.
Mikolaj is also reportedly pondering making compulsory tuition of some technical subjects in Slovak rather than in Hungarian or other minority languages.
“We regard the minister’s initiative to be the start of the SNS election campaign,” said László Pék, the director of the Association of Hungarian Teachers in Slovakia (ZMPS), adding that the proposal is only an improvisation. Pék said that there has been enough testing, inspection and monitoring at the schools already, and that this had not substantiated Mikolaj’s statements that knowledge of the Slovak language at Hungarian-language schools is low.
“There is a certain amount of truth in the statement that our pupils don’t know the Slovak language perfectly, but they aren’t perfect in mathematics, physics or geography either,” Pék said.
The ZMPS agrees with Mikolaj’s claim that the State Educational Programme should be amended. According to Pék, the teaching of Slovak has been realised at minority schools by using the grammar-translation method, which doesn’t focus on active usage of the language, i.e. speaking and understanding in daily communication. The changes that the ZMPS says are necessary would, it says, lead to teaching a more communicative form of the language. For this, special preparation of teachers of Slovak at minority schools should be planned, since at the moment future minority-school teachers study together with those who later go on to teach at regular Slovak schools.
“I got my degree some 40 years ago and I knew it all – how to teach Slovak, what is the grammar structure of Slovak, what are the grammatical problems and how it should be taught at schools,” said Sándor Fibi, a member of the ZMPS and director of a Hungarian-language primary school in Dunajská Streda. “The only thing they did not teach me was how to teach it at schools with Hungarian as the language of instruction.”
According to Fibi, this is what remains absent from teachers’ preparation to this day.
“Slovak language teaching has been a neuralgic point for the Slovak educational system for over 40 years now,” Fibi said.
While Sólyom has attracted criticism from Slovak government representatives for calling Slovak a foreign language for minorities, representatives of the Hungarian minority in Slovakia claim that there is something to his comments.
“When we speak about the Slovak language and its grammatical structure, its morphology and syntax, it absolutely is a foreign language as a teaching subject,” Fibi said. “But when we talk about its communicative function, we don’t call it a foreign, but rather the state language.”
According to Fibi, there are immense differences between Slovak and Hungarian, as they belong to completely unrelated language families.
For example, while Slovak, along with all other Slavic languages, recognises three genders – male, female and neuter – this distinction does not exist in Hungarian.
“This means that [when learning Slovak] a [Hungarian] pupil must learn something he or she hasn’t even dreamt of before,” Fibi explained. Thus, to be able to speak Slovak correctly in public, Hungarian pupils need to learn it via the methodology of foreign language teaching.
“Our highest state officials have been deaf to this for over 40 years,” Fibi said, adding that the teachers themselves have never really been involved in drafting the State Educational Programme and that teachers are instead merely presented with ready-made curricula and methodologies.
“Now we even teach Slovak as a foreign language under-the-counter,” Fibi confessed.
Most-Híd, a political party formed last year by Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) renegades led by MP Béla Bugár, was quick to react to the debate about Slovak language teaching.
Bugár, speaking on the public-service broadcaster Slovak Television (STV), said that given the obligation to learn two foreign languages, Hungarian pupils found themselves in a situation where they have to learn their native Hungarian, the state language – i.e. Slovak – and two additional world languages.
He suggested that one of the foreign languages should be omitted from the curriculum of the minority schools in order to give more space to teaching Slovak.
On March 22, Most-Híd’s Alžbeta Ožvaldová presented the party’s education policy, which proposes a focus on stronger communication skills intended to make Slovak teaching more effective.
“Our aim is that children learn the Slovak language properly, in order to keep them in our Slovak [labour] market,” she said as she presented the policy.
Pék said that for the Hungarian minority the Slovak language is their second language after their mother tongue and it has a special place in the hierarchy of subjects.
“But it also has a different function from other languages and under no circumstances should it be politically and ideologically abused,” he said.
Post by TsarSamuil on Dec 20, 2010 15:50:57 GMT -5
Language Act takes a ‘less bad’ form.
Spectator.sme.sk 20 Dec 2010 Michaela Terenzani - Stanková Politics & Society
IT TOOK half a year for the new centre-right government to amend the State Language Act, an issue which has disrupted the state’s relationship with Slovakia’s ethnic-Hungarian population and with the government of Hungary as well. Despite removing several provisions that were objectionable to minorities, the amendment retained that part of the law which caused the loudest outcry among ethnic Hungarians: penalties for using a language other than the official state language – i.e. Slovak – in public communications. Some coalition politicians admit that the law remains problematic.
The previous government, led by Smer’s Robert Fico in coalition with the nationalist Slovak National Party (SNS), passed an amendment to the State Language Act in June 2009 which caused an outburst of loud criticism from Hungary as well as more muted critical remarks from various international organisations. That law, which tightened the monitoring of the correct use of Slovak in official communications as well as specifying when Slovak had to be used, took effect on September 1, 2009 and was harshly criticised for introducing fines of up to ˆ5,000 for violations.
The centre-right parties of the governing coalition, then in opposition, joined in the criticism. But after the parliamentary election, representatives of minorities were disappointed by the slow movement of the coalition and it did not seem that modification of the State Language Act and elimination of the penalties would be pursued or passed by parliament.
Limited sanctions remain
The Culture Ministry, led by Daniel Krajcer of the Freedom and Solidarity party (SaS), in the end proposed an amendment to the law that was passed by parliament on December 9. Despite receiving the support of all coalition MPs, the coalition’s Most-Híd party voiced its concern that some provisions it finds objectionable remain in the law.
Ondrej Dostál of the Civic Conservative Party (OKS), who is a member of the Most-Híd parliamentary caucus and who led civic initiatives directed against the law when it came into effect in September 2009, said that after the amendment was passed, the law would be “less bad” than before, but admitted that it remains problematic.
“Many provisions that limit the free flow of information and interfere in the private sphere more than is necessary were left in [the State Language Act],” he told The Slovak Spectator. On a positive note, he said that several restrictive provisions, mainly those directed against minority languages and the public usage thereof, have been removed from the law. The scope for awarding sanctions for language misuse has been narrowed significantly too.
The new version of the law takes effect on January 1, 2011 and no longer requires transport, telecommunications and postal workers to master and use Slovak because their activities have been reclassified as private business and the provisions of the law will only apply to public bodies. The new legislation also eliminates the requirement that minority-language schools keep student records in two languages and allows cultural activities organised by or for members of minorities, such as theatre performances, to be voiced solely in the minority language. In addition, parliament eliminated the requirement that text on memorials, sculptures and plaques needed the approval of the Culture Ministry.
“Some nonsense restrictions will be removed,” Krajcer said, as quoted by the Sme daily.
The law, however, retains the possibility to assess fines even though the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission had recommended that they be completely stricken.
The amendment permits the use of fines but restricts their application only to public administration and situations where the life, health, safety or property of citizens is at issue. The amendment lowered the range of fines from ˆ1,000-ˆ5,000 to ˆ50-ˆ2,500.
Most-Híd not totally happy
The ruling coalition’s Most-Híd party, which primarily represents ethnic Hungarians, made it clear that even though its MPs voted with the coalition to pass the amendment they did not entirely agree with its limited changes.
“Although our aim was to eliminate the Language Act or the sanctions [it introduced], we need to realise that at the moment there is no chance for that,” the party’s chairperson Béla Bugár said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “The current government is composed of four parties, so it’s clear that in most cases compromise solutions are put in place.”
Bugár said he found it significant that citizens cannot be punished for using their mother tongue and in that sense the recent amendment removed the fear which the previous law introduced, TASR reported.
Dostál, who made an additional proposal during the legislative procedure in parliament, seeking the complete removal of sanctions and fines for language use from the text of the law, said he was disappointed by the fact that even the current ruling coalition is not able to let go of the nationalism which ruled the country during the previous, Fico-led government. He noted that the sanctions have above all a symbolic significance.
“It’s sad that the current ruling parties criticised the re-introduction of sanctions last year while they were still in opposition, but now do not dare to cancel them,” Dostál said. “I believe that will change in the future.”
Dostál believes the law needs further changes beyond the removal of sanctions. He and his parliamentary caucus have several times mentioned in the future that cancelling the law as such would be the best systemic solution, and would allow it to be replaced by a much briefer and more liberal one.
A much stronger level of dissatisfaction was apparent in the statements of opposition politicians. The author of the 2009 changes to the language law, former culture minister Marek Maďarič who is currently an MP for the Smer party, said that the amendment passed by the governing coalition is wrong from political and factual points of view.
“From the political viewpoint it’s an unjustified retreat from Budapest,” Maďarič said, as quoted by Sme. “The rightist government left the Slovaks in southern Slovakia completely in the lurch.”
The opposition also stated that continuation of the penalties was necessary for the law to be enforceable.
Czech fairytales in Slovak
One of the most-discussed proposals that MPs wanted to incorporate into the recently passed amendment was the removal of the obligation to dub Czech fairytales, cinema and TV movies for children under the age of 12 into Slovak.
The proposal was authored by Ondrej Dostál and received the support of the constitutional affairs committee, but in the end did not make it through the final plenary vote in the parliament.
Traditionally, Slovaks and Czechs have been able to understand each other’s language thanks to the relative closeness of the languages as well as their former cohabitation in one state.
“In Slovakia, even small children understand Czech,” Dostál claims. “I find it absurd that Czech fairytales for children under 12 have to be dubbed into Slovak. It not only contradicts the right to freely disseminate information, but it also contradicts common sense.”
Slovakia starts to get nervous with Orban’s Hungary.
Thedaily.sk 1 Apr 2011
As the Hungarian government of Viktor Orban goes ahead with its plans to grant dual citizenship and now also voting rights to ethnic Hungarians in neighbouring countries, tempers in Slovakia are fraying and patience over an agreement running out.
Now opposition party of Robert Fico, Smer-SD, has called for an extraordinary session to debate the policies of Viktor Orban and for the government to lay out its plans clearly in this respect. Smer-SD wants the government to take a stronger stance to the actions of the Hungarian government also on an international level, through the EU and NATO, for example.
The motion is backed by liberal coalition party SaS, with party head Richard Sulik announcing his party’s endorsement of the session’s agenda as proposed by Smer-SD. He is well aware that the coalition should discuss its own position first, though. Sulik said that he appreciated the opposition’s concerns, because Viktor Orban was out of hand and should get a grip on reality, reports TASR newswire.
The other opposition party, nationalist SNS, has been calling on action to be taken against the politics of Hungary for some time, but even so, SNS party head Jan Slota has referred to the latest proposal of Smer-SD to convene the session as disgusting.
“They should have listened to us much earlier and we could have dealt with the problem together, instead of Smer-SD now having to put on this show” retorted Slota in a statement given to SITA. He then attacked Smer-SD for collaborating with ethnic Hungarian parties SMK and Most-Hid, saying that it is now playing at the martyr, while it might already be too late to stop the Hungarian steamroller.
“How come Smer discovered America only now? Why didn’t it listen to us when we were in the coalition together, and instead tried to soften our opinions, calling them extreme and radical along with everyone else? Everyone should apologise to us and finally start taking the Hungarian political games seriously” said Slota in the statement.
Slota went on to express his conviction that the Hungary’s objective is clear; to detach the south of Slovakia and annex it to Hungary, and eventually destabilise the whole of Central Europe. Slota then called for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to withdraw the Slovak embassy from Budapest immediately, cancel agreements with Hungary on good neighbourly relations and co-operation and to limit cross-border relations between the two countries.
Hungary was supposed to reply in February to a call from PM Iveta Radicova to set up a special bilateral agreement governing relations between the two countries, including the issue of citizenship, but no correspondence has been forthcoming. This flippant attitude together with recent events in Slovakia, including the revision to the Act on Minority Languages and the whole dual citizenship question, look set to heat things up further, so we can only hope they don’t reach boiling point.
Ethnic Slovaks in Hungary complain about minority rights says ÚSŽZ.
Spectator.sme.sk 5 Apr 2011
The Bureau for Slovaks Living Abroad (ÚSŽZ) wants to see just representation of the Slovak minority among Hungarian commissioners, the individuals who will be conducting Hungary’s upcoming census, the TASR newswire was told by the ÚSŽZ spokesman, Ľudovít Pomichal, on April 4.
Pomichal spoke in reaction to statements made by ethnic-Slovaks living in Hungary who he said view their situation in Hungary as critical due to the loss of their native language and rapid erosion of their national identity.
Though Hungarian authorities boast of having excellent minority policies, Pomichal said ethnic-Slovak representatives in Hungary have complained that their rightful claims are not being financially covered and their needs are being ignored, with the state more often than not even violating the status quo.
For that reason ÚSŽZ stated that it looks forward with great interest in seeing how many people claim Slovak nationality during the upcoming census.
Slovak MPs Enraged At Hungary’s Possible Military Strike.
thedaily.sk 8 Jun 2011
Leading opposition party Smer-SD is blowing a fuse at recent comments made by chairman of the Hungarian parliament Laszlo Kover concerning a possible military attack on Slovakia, and the party is demanding that the Slovak government make an immediate response.
In an interview with Czech daily Hospodarske Noviny, Mr. Kover showed what the Smer-SD party referred to as “Hungary’s true colours” after he said that the current government in Hungary was capable of considering a military attack on Slovakia.
This is not the only qualm Smer-SD has, though, as it is pointing to other recent comments and actions from south of the border. These include how Hungarians in Slovakia were allegedly told not to respect the Paris Peace Treaty from 1919 and how Hungary is claiming that Slovakia changed the border between the two countries when building the Gabcikovo dam, which would formally entitle Hungary to make a military strike on Slovakia.
Deputy head of Smer-SD, Marek Madaric, has said that these and other issues are the way Hungary is responding to Slovakia’s weak foreign affairs policies, with the country making too many concessions. On the subject of the military attack, Madaric said that Kover’s statement was “outrageous and scandalous”, and just proves how Hungary disrespects its neighbours.
The Smer-SD party is therefore demanding that the Slovak government issue a response and also elaborate a strategy for defending Slovakia’s interests against Hungary. Madaric then criticised PM Iveta Radicova and her party colleague, foreign affairs minister Mikulas Dzurinda, for being too soft with Hungary and for not reacting to Hungary’s arrogance and aggression.
Sulik Shoots Back at Kover’s Military Talk
thedaily.sk 8 Jun 2011
Making a public announcement today regarding the comments of his Hungarian counterpart Laszlo Kover, Slovak parliamentary chairman Richard Sulik hit back at the ‘war talk’ on potential military attacks.
Sulik declared that “the mere threat of some military intervention or its implication has no place in the vocabulary of amicable neighbours”. He was reacting to comments made in an interview with Kover in Czech daily Hospodarske Noviny, where he implied that the current government in Hungary was capable of considering a military attack on Slovakia.
Sulik retorted that comments like that belong to the 19th century and were only designed to distract attention from “Hungary’s international isolation” caused by its Hungarian expansion policy. Sulik pointed to the Good Neighbours Agreement between the two countries and their mutual involvement in the EU and NATO, saying comments like Kover’s were senseless and only produced tension.
Using sharper rhetoric, Sulik then challenged Kover to approach the allies who won World War I if he wanted to change the Treaty of Trianon, also referring to Kover’s claim that Hungary would formally be entitled to use military force as Slovakia had breached its territory when building the Gabcikovo dam. Klover had also said that Slovakia only existed thanks to the Treaty of Trianon.
Post by TsarSamuil on Aug 15, 2011 17:34:53 GMT -5
Albanian Shot Dead in Cold Blood At Cafe.
Bratislava was like the scene from a mafia film on Friday evening when a hitman calmly stepped out of a taxi, approached a cafe terrace and shot a 27 year old Albanian from Kosovo in cold-blood in front of everyone.
The man took three shots to the chest and so the resuscitation efforts of the emergency medical workers who arrived at the scene proved fruitless as the man died shortly after arriving at hospital in Ruzinov, Bratislava.
The crime scene was a cafe at the Three Towers residential complex on Bajkalska Street, where the man was seated with some others. The killer, dressed all in black, fled the scene and is still being hunted by the police, who in the meantime have managed to find the taxi driver who took him to his execution venue.
The execution was apparently some kind of payback, so there is always the chance that some revenge attack will soon took place if the killing is linked to certain underworld groups.
Police Press Charges in Albanian Murder.
At a press conference this afternoon, Police deputy commissioner Lubomir Abel and head of Bratislava Regional Police, Csaba Farago, announced that they had solved the case involving the shooting of 27-year old Albanian at a cafe on Friday.
It took the police just three days to press murder charges against 31-year old Jeton Vokrri, also from Albania. Vokrri is at large, and so the police have put out an APB on him and are waiting on the issue of the arrest warrant.
Although Vokrri has no criminal record in Slovakia, deputy commissioner Abel said the police had suspicions that he was robbing cars while the driver was trying to change a tyre that Vokrri would puncture. The motive for the cold-blooded murder in Bratislava is still unknown, but the police suspect it was a payback killing.
Slovakia was chosen for the hit even though both the victim and the killer have residence registered in the Czech Republic and Hungary, respectively.
Last Edit: Aug 16, 2011 12:57:03 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
TsarSamuil: Browser is up, but I was doing other things..
Oct 12, 2020 18:58:52 GMT -5
Slavatar: OK.. Regards.
Oct 13, 2020 8:39:57 GMT -5
славянин: зиг хайль
Oct 22, 2020 15:41:37 GMT -5
славянин: дойчен зальдатен
Oct 22, 2020 15:41:56 GMT -5
Milo I.: Deutscher Sauerbraten?
Oct 28, 2020 9:59:34 GMT -5
White Cossack: Who's the best state leader currently?
Dec 6, 2020 8:57:53 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: Viktor Orban?
Dec 8, 2020 5:55:50 GMT -5
Gopnik: from leader's POV, i'd say Kim Jong Un as in north korea he is not forcing any pics of himself nor making a shit ton of songs praising him unlike his dad and grandfather, but instead he is attempting to get the nation out of the shithole it is in today.
Dec 13, 2020 17:16:43 GMT -5
Gopnik: but 1000000% not kim from a citizen's point of view, the Camps in North Korea are horrible.
Dec 13, 2020 17:18:52 GMT -5
White Cossack: You're both right, fellas.
Dec 18, 2020 11:17:53 GMT -5
eternal jew: indeed goys
Dec 18, 2020 12:13:55 GMT -5