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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

There's a rat in Bratislava

And it looks like it's a Brussels rat. Zenit and the Catholic News Service have highlighted the goings on in Slovakia over the past few weeks, but there hasn't been a lot of in depth coverage that I've seen by the English-language press, be it blog or MSM.

As many people are probably aware, the Vatican has been attempting to sign a treaty with Slovakia that will protect the rights of Slovakians to conscientious objection. The primary concern is for doctors and pharmecists in danger of being coerced into providing abortion, abortificants, or contraceptives. Such a proposal has run afoul of the self-appointed arbiters of All That Is Decent, and the EU has set up a wail.

Well, Brussels cries about lots of things, but it appears that the political pressure has actually had an effect upon the Slovakian government. Last week the prime minister, Mikulas Dzurinda, withdrew his support from the treaty, causing the Christian Democrats, which at least one source describes as the "ruling" party (although it's a coalition government), to withdraw their ministers from the government. Dzurinda had promised support for the treaty during the campaign, but according to sources within the Vatican and the Slovak government, the recent EU pressure has caused him to back off of that position. He now has the treaty held up, and will not allow it to come to a vote. The Christian Democrats' (KDH) walkout has caused somewhat of a crisis, and has triggered early elections, which will be held in June instead of in September as originally planned. A "constitutional law" (as opposed to an unconstitutional one?) was passed Monday to provide for the shortened Parliament term (as it says here).

The (surprisingly short) text of the proposed treaty is here.
The Slovakian News Agency can be found here, with more information.

It will be interesting to see what happens -- Slovakia is 70% Catholic, and I wonder quite a bit how they will take the EU's meddling having felled their conservative government.

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