Slovakia warns of worsening relations after Gyurcsany resignation
Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico warned Saturday that relations with neighbouring Hungary may further deteriorate with Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany's planned resignation, dpa reported.
Fico said that a victory by the "anti-Slovak" right-wing Fidesz party in a potential early general election raised worries in Slovakia.
"It would extremely complicate Slovak-Hungarian relations and we would have to react to that," he told reporters while visiting a Prague-based congress of the opposition Czech Social Democrats.
Opposition leader Fidesz is confidently leading in the polls, while the ratings of Gyurcsany's Socialists have plunged following a set of belt-tightening economic measures.
Hungary had to ask the International Monetary Fund and the European Union for aid to rescue the crumbling economy.
Slovak-Hungarian relations have been already chilly under Gyurcsany's rule.
They deteriorated since the summer of 2006 when Fico brought to his three-party center-left government the Slovak National Party led by Jan Slota, a xenophobic politician who has stirred anti-Hungarian sentiments.
Relations further soured in November, after Slovak police clashed with Hungarian fans at a football game in Hungarian-inhabited southern Slovakia.
High-profile meetings between Slovak and Hungarian officials have so far failed to bring about a thaw and ease nationalist tensions.
Slovakia and Hungary are historical foes. Slovakia had been part of Hungary until the break-up of the Austro-Hungarian empire after World War I, in which Budapest lost more than two thirds of its territory under the so-called Treaty of Trianon.
Ethnic Hungarians comprise about one tenth of Slovakia's population estimated at 5.4 million.