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Language Conflict
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Appropos my earlier post about anti-Gypsy sentiment, there's a commentary article in Heti Vilaggazdasag, a Hungarian newspaper, about anti-Hungarian sentiment in Slovakia.

The ban on speaking of anything but Slovak in most government offices and places of business is seen as being aimed at the 20% of Slovakian citizens who are ethnic Hungarians.

Hungarian can be spoken at cultural events, but all jokes must be repeated in Slovak.

The article contends that the anti-Hungarian sentiment is a way of diverting attention from the slumping economomy of Slovakia, which had been booming after the conversion to the Euro, but now shares in the worldwide tough economic times.

Historically, such language laws in Eastern Europe have been but the prelude to bloody repression. And Hungary has a large gypsy Roma population.

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