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Slovakia: Minister Says Laws Being Adapted For EU

Crans-Montana, Switzerland; 27 June 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Slovakia has told an international business conference in Switzerland that it is already adapting its laws and regulations to match those of the European Union (EU), though it is unclear when Bratislava will join the organization.

Slovakia's Deputy Prime Minister Katarina Tothova told a meeting of potential investors at the conference in the resort of Crans Montana that all those who wish to do business in Europe must adapt their legislation to EU standards regardless of whether they are a member of the European Union.

As an example, she pointed to Switzerland which has adapted its laws even though the population voted in a referendum against joining the EU.

Critics have said Slovakia is unlikely to be in the first group of countries invited to join the EU. The European Commission is expected to announce next month which countries are ready to open membership negotiations. Actual talks are supposed to begin in January.

Tothova said the Slovak government is currently devoting its energies to the economy, leaving it "little little time to combat the misinformation and disinformation about democracy in Slovakia." But she said she expected that to change soon.