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Slovakia: Polls Open On Second Day Of EU Vote

Bratislava, 17 May 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Polls today opened for the second day of voting in a national referendum on whether Slovakia should next year join the European Union. Voting began at 7 a.m. local and Prague time, after results from yesterday showed about 25 percent of those eligible turned out. More than 50 percent must take part for the referendum to be valid.

In Slovakia's 10 years as an independent country, no referendum has ever gained the required number of voters to be valid.

If turnout falls below 50 percent, parliament can still ratify the EU accession treaty that Slovakia and nine other candidate countries signed this past April.

Results are expected to be announced tomorrow. Lithuania, Malta, Slovenia, and Hungary have already voted to join the EU.