Government dilutes sanctions in Language Act

The much-disputed State Language Act introduced by the former government of Robert Fico will be stripped of the provisions on sanctions for breaches of the act.

The government pushed through its revision in parliament on Wednesday with 78 votes to 65, and so now the law will be watered down in terms of sanctions and certain other provisions, with force from 1 May 2011.

President Ivan Gasparovic wanted the levying of fines to be obligatory, but the government cut the fine amounts (fines range from EUR 50 – 2,500) and cancelled the obligation of the Ministry of Culture to impose them.

Among other issues, the revision eases up on the use of minority languages for publications concerning cultural issues like events, museums, concerts and the like, and so these will now be exempt from the fines.

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