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Slovakia: Opposition Parties Still Waiting For Meciar Invitation

Bratislava, 30 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - Opposition parties say they are still waiting for an invitation to round-table talks with Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar. And, an official of a leading opposition party - the KDH (Christian Democrat) - tells our correspondent that no invitation had reached party headquarters.

Meciar had said he would invite representatives of all opposition parties to meet him July 4.

Speaking in Parliament last week , Meciar said it is necessary "to end political confrontation," which he said has continued for six years.

Slovakia's domestic political scene has been marked by turmoil and infighting, especially between President Michal Kovac and Meciar.

This month a joint European Union-Slovakia parliamentary committee, meeting in Bratislava, insisted on political dialogue, between the governing coalition party and opposition parties, as a condition for EU membership.

EU parliamentary members were especially critical of Slovakia's lack of progress in meeting some of the criteria for membership. In addition to the lack of dialogue with the opposition, Slovakia-Hungary relations were also mentioned.

If Meciar meets the opposition this week, it would mark the first time since 1994 that Meciar has sat down for talks with KDH officials.

Our Bratislava correspondent cites analysts there as saying that - with EU pressure increasing - Slovaks will have to either start talking to each other, or find that no one in the West will want to talk with them.