Eva rules out youth's right to study racism

June 30, 1995

Eva Slavkovska, Slovakia's education minister, has refused funding for studies of racial intolerance and minorities.

Her reasons were relayed by an official spokesman, since the country's new information policy does not permit members of the government to speak directly to the media.

Her spokesman said that she questioned whether it was "necessary to return to these matters again"; that the studies were proposed by the youth organisations of left-of-centre opposition parties and were therefore inappropriate for support by her ministry; and thirdly that "young people should not get into politics at all".

Three studies prompted her decision. One, on fascism and intolerance, has already been completed with funding from the previous minister granted to the youth wing of the Party of the Democratic Left, and needs money for publication.

The other two, suggested by the Democratic Youth of Slovakia, relate to a comparison of intellectual and political trends and the role of minorities in Slovakian politics.

This is not the first time the minister has adopted an authoritarian stance. In January she clashed with the Slovak conference of university rectors over the right of universities to nominate new professors, and more recently aroused considerable controversy by participating in an exhibition about Jozef Tiso, the ruler of Slovakia, then a client state in the Nazi sphere of influence, in the second world war.

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