President: abolish dual citizenship laws
Talking about Slovak-Hungarian relations yesterday on the discussion programme of STV called ‘O pat minut dvanast’, President Ivan Gasparovic expressed his belief that the best would be if both countries abolished recently adopted laws on dual citizenship on both sides of the border.
Under the previous government, Slovakia hastily passed its own law in counteraction to a law adopted in Hungary that allows people to get Hungarian citizenship without ever having lived in the country. The Hungarian law adopted by the the new government of Viktor Orban, was seen by Slovakia as provocation to re-establish the once expansive Kingdom of Hungary, as it was basically offering citizenship to all the ethnic Hungarians living in the surrounding countries.
In response, the Slovak law resolved to abolish Slovak citizenship of anyone requesting Hungarian citizenship, or that of any other country for that matter. This has caused problems for many Slovaks living abroad who have pending dual citizenship requests in the likes of Canada, the U.S. and the United Kingdom, for instance.
President Gasparovic would like to see both the laws abolished and the situation return to the status quo from before. He agrees with foreign affairs minister Mikulas Dzurinda that the Slovak response was just as inappropriate as Orban’s initiative in the first place, but that Slovakia was more or less pushed into a corner.
Having been ruled over for around 1,000 years by the former Kingdom of Hungary, Slovakia is particularly wary and fearful of any plans its neighbour has to extend its influence back over the borders.