02:07 GMT +320 October 2019
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    Slovak MPs Voted for Law Banning Foreign Anthems 'by Mistake'

    © AFP 2019/ Samuel Kubani
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    The ban impacts the significant Hungarian minority living in the country's south, who often sing Hungary’s national anthem during football matches, as well as at religious and other events.

    The Slovakian parliament has passed a law that was aimed to "protect" national symbols, but at the same time, banned all anthems apart from the Slovakian one from being sung in the country, except in the cases when official foreign delegations arrive. What is surprising is that lawmakers from the Most-Hid Party, who represent the Hungarian minority living in Slovakia, also supported the law.

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    As they explained later in an interview with the AFP, they voted for it "by mistake" and missed the important amendment that stipulates a hefty 7,000 euro fine on those who perform banned anthems. The matter is of great significance to Hungarians, who constitute around 8% of Slovakia's population, as they often sing the Hungarian national anthem at football matches, on holidays, and in churches.

    "We made a mistake but we are going to correct it", Most-Hid Party Chairman Bela Bugar said.

    Bugar announced that the president had been notified of the issue and was asked to veto the law and return it to parliament for correction.

    Slovak President Andrej Kiska has promised to review the request and warned the country's lawmakers that they must read all legislative amendments carefully prior to voting for a bill, the newspaper Hungary Today reported.

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