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1 OMRI Daily Digest - 16 November 1995 (mind)  58 sor     (cikkei)

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OMRI DAILY DIGEST
No. 224, 16 November 1995

HUNGARIAN PRIME MINISTER CRITICIZES SLOVAK LANGUAGE LAW . . . Gyula
Horn, in a letter sent to his Slovak counterpart, Vladimir Meciar,
before Slovakia's language bill was debated in the parliament on 15
November, said the bill contains several restrictions on the use of
Hungarian in Slovakia and contradicts the Slovak-Hungarian treaty and
the European Convention on Human Rights, Hungarian and international
media reported. He warned that if the passage of the bill by the Slovak
parliament could fuel tensions in bilateral relations, slow down
implementation of the basic treaty, damage international perceptions of
both nations, and cast doubt on their aspirations toward integration
into Western organizations. "There are nearly 600,000 Hungarians living
in Slovakia, for whom the law on the state language would be an
unacceptable step backward," Horn said. -- Sharon Fisher

. . . BUT SLOVAK PARLIAMENT APPROVES IT ANYWAY. Neither Horn's letter
nor strong opposition from the Hungarian minority stopped the parliament
from approving the law, however. With the support of the ruling
coalition and the opposition Democratic Union and Party of the
Democratic Left, 108 deputies voted in favor, 17 against, and 17
abstained. The vote was likely influenced by a proposal from Movement
for a Democratic Slovakia deputy Milan Secansky that each deputy state
his opinion out loud after his name was called. Only about 200-300
demonstrators, bussed in from around the country by the government,
gathered outside parliament to show support for the law. A larger crowd
had been expected. The bill will now go to President Michal Kovac for
approval, but it can be passed again through a simple majority even if
he vetoes it. -- Sharon Fisher

TEACHERS PROTEST IN HUNGARY. At least 40,000 teachers, university
instructors, and public education workers on 15 November attended a
demonstration organized by three trade unions outside the parliament
building, Hungarian and international media reported. The demonstrators
demanded a 25% pay hike, increased funds for cultural and educational
institutions, and job security guarantees. They also called for the
resignation of Culture and Education Minister Gabor Fodor and warned
they will go on strike if their demands are not met. Ministry of Culture
and Education State Secretary Zoltan Szabo is scheduled to meet with
union representatives on 17 November. Teachers, who have an average
take-home pay of approximately 25,000 forints ($185) per month, have
been hard hit by the austerity measures introduced by the government
earlier this year. -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN AMBASSADOR EVALUATES TIES WITH ROMANIA. Hungarian ambassador
to Romania Ferenc Szocs said at a 15 November press conference in
Bucharest that Hungary is prepared to respond next month to Iliescu's
call for a "historic reconciliation" and that negotiations may begin in
January, an RFE/RL correspondent reported. He added that Hungary will
ask for three joint commissions to be set up to negotiate a Hungarian-
Romanian basic treaty, a political declaration on intergovernmental
agreements, and another document on minority rights. -- Matyas Szabo

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Jan Cleave


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