The Socialist Group (PES) of the European Parliament has voted to suspend its 3 Slovakian members. The move came after the Social Democratic Party (SMER) of Slovakia, of which the three MEPs are members, entered into a coalition with the far-right Slovak National Party (SNS) in June; the SNS has a history of xenophobia towards the Hungarian and Roma minorities in Slovakia.
The MEPs will retain their seats, but will sit without affiliation to any group from now on. In addition, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico will no longer be invited to the gatherings of European leaders that the PES holds prior to EU summits.
13 October 2006