The coalition managed also to push through its amendment to the Press Act, thereby depriving public officials of their right to reply in the media.
The change increases the level of press freedom again, after the former government in 2008 laid down the obligation on media to publish the counter-reactions of public officials to anything they wished. Under the new law, the right of reply will still apply to them as private individuals, but not to anything that concerns their public function.
The amendment, which takes effect from July, also takes away the right of public officials to demand compensation for not having their reply published, something that to date could have cost some media up to EUR 5,000 at the decision of a court. Now the court will decide only if the reply is to be published or not.
Culture minister Daniel Krajcer said he was glad that “we managed to do a good thing. We have boosted press freedom in Slovakia, which is something that it faced criticism about under the former government”. He added that it was good that the government had pushed through another point of its Manifesto, and more importantly for him and his SaS party, something that they pushed for and included in the referendum last September.