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Slovakia: Opposition Organizes Anti-Government Rallies

By Carolyn Tang

Bratislava, November 18 (RFE/RL) - More rallies were organized in Slovakia today by anti-government, center-right opposition parties. Rallies were planned in Banskej, Bystrici and Trencine, but organizers do not expect the turnout of tens of thousands as at a series of rallies last week in Bratislava and Kosice.

The Deputy Chairman of the Democratic Union of Slovakia party, Eduard Kukan, tells RFE/RL that he believes people are much more vocal now than they were a year ago, and are demanding change.

Three center-right opposition parties, including Kukan's party, formed what they call a "blue coalition" last week to oppose the Government of Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar.

The Czech Republic's CTK news agency today says Slovakia's President Michal Kovac yesterday released a written statement which said there is growing fear among the public of the secret service, and growing power of the state to the detriment of personal and collective rights. Kovac also asserted that the government is not addressing growing unemployment, crime and education issues.