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Gasparovic Takes Presidential Oath of Office

Ivan Gasparovic was sworn in as Slovakia’s new president at a ceremonial parliamentary session Tuesday.

Gasparovic, former chairman of parliament, will take over from outgoing President Rudolf Schuster who completed a five-year term.

In his inaugural speech, Gasparovic said he was “in favor of a market economy but not a society based on market principles,” according to the CTK news agency.

The new president said he would focus on pressing social problems and foreign policy challenges facing Slovakia as well as ensuring good working and personal relations with parliament and the government.

Gasparovic was elected president in a runoff vote in April, defeating the country’s controversial former Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar.

(Interfax 18.vi.04)

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