Stories about Slovakia
European Regional Differences
Slovak NGO/think-tank Conservative Institute [en] blogged [sk] about the results of a study of 270 second-level EU regions (NUTS 2). Comparing changes in unemployment, they found that during 1990-2011, despite the growing amount of Euro-funds, the differences between the regions grew by about 4 percentage points. In more than 50...
Slovak PM's Support for 2022 Winter Olympics Bid Draws Criticism
Whereas Norway and Switzerland are planning to hold referenda before submitting their 2022 Winter Olympics bids, the fate of the Slovak-Polish joint bid already seems decided: the Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico has declared his support for it, without waiting for the government's approval. Tibor Blazko reports.
Slovak President Butt of Jokes Online Due to Prosecutor General Saga
The post of the Prosecutor General has been vacant for more than a year in Slovakia, largely due to President Ivan Gašparovič's failure to approve the previous Parliament's candidate. Slovak netizens are making fun of their President, calling for a referendum on his removal and trying to sue him. Tibor Blazko reports.
Slovakia: Social Benefits for Roma
Lucia Kureková, in her blog analysis [sk], shows that in Slovakia the majority of those who receive the Benefit in Material Need (BMN) are not the “typical” Roma families with many children, but are single, of any ethnicity, and childless (62%), often young and unemployed. About two-thirds of the Slovak...
Slovak Antimonopoly Office Defends Obligatory Microsoft Use
European Information Society Institute, a Slovak NGO, reports [sk] that the Slovak Antimonopoly Office (AMO) does not see it as a problem that the country's Financial Directorate is forcing taxpayers to use Microsoft Windows and Internet Explorer, arguing that there is just about 10 percent of 44,000 subjects who have...
Slovak Netizen Initiative to Redesign State Institutions’ Sites
Inspired by sf.citi (San Francisco Citizens Initiative for Technology & Innovation), Jakub Ptačin [sk] and Peter Fabor [sk] have launched It's Not Possible (“To Sa Nedá”; sk; on Facebook – here), an initiative whose goal is to redesign websites of selected state institutions – for free and without political ambitions....
Slovak Blogger Promotes Fairness in State Support for Businesses
Blogger Robert Huran reports [sk] on the initial success of his online form [sk] for entrepreneurs, which was created two months ago in response to the news [sk] of the €200 million governmental support for ten selected companies. The reasons these companies were chosen included promises of investment and creation...
Slovak Government Keeps Paying Millions for Microsoft Products
Every year, the Slovak state pays about 200 Euros per computer for a license allowing the use of the newest Microsoft products and services. Activist Štefan Szilva has collected information [pdf, sk] about 30 percent of the 82,000 ‘state-owned computers’. From it, the IT website dsl.sk has computed this statistics...
Doubting the Efficiency of EU Funding for Slovakia
The European Commission has unveiled plans for priorities in funding Slovakia during the years of 2014-2020. One of the problems is that the EU money is often used for unnecessary and unproductive initiatives and projects. Tibor Blazko translates netizens' views on the issue.
Slovak “Decent Life” Protesters Burn EU Flag
About 100 people took part in a follow-up “Together for a Decent and Safe Life” protest [sk, images, videos], co-organized by Oskar Dobrovodský, in Bratislava on Nov. 10 (more about Dobrovodský's case and the previous, Oct. 13, rally is here). After the protesters burned the EU flag, police detained two...
Slovakia: Protesting SOZA's Newest Copyright Fees
SOZA's general manager Vladimír Repčík addressed Slovak high school seniors via his blog on October 22, urging them to register with his agency and pay €15 for their traditional graduation parties. Tibor Blazko reports on the controversy.
Slovakia: “For Decent and Safe Life” Rally Stirs Controversy
Tibor Blazko reports on the controversial Oct. 13 rally for "a decent and safe life," translating netizens' views on the rights of Slovakia's Roma and non-Roma citizens, as well as on the failure of the state to address the alarming social situation adequately.
Slovakia, UK: “Child Snatching” or “Child Protection”?
As many as 30 UK-based Slovak children have been removed from their families by British social workers in recent years. While some consider it "child protection," others call it "child snatching." Tibor Blazko reports on the controversy.
Slovakia: Music Copyright Agency Vs. School Drama Club
The Slovak Performing and Mechanical Rights Society imposes a €975 fine on a high school drama club for a fundraiser ball, which included a raffle and featured songs authored and performed by the club members - but had not been properly registered with the music copyright agency. Tibor Blazko reports.
Slovakia: Comparing the Income of Roma and Non-Roma Neighbors
Tibor Blazko translates netizens' comments on some of the issues brought up in a recent World Bank report: unemployment, safety nets and the gap in income between Roma and non-Roma families in Slovakia.
Slovakia: Rally for Rights of “Decent People”
Last month, in response to “the worsening situation in coexistence of citizens of towns and villages with the undisciplined and antisocial fellow citizens,” residents of the town of Partizanske came up with a “Petition for increased protection of the rights of decent people” [sk]. This past weekend, over 3,000 mostly...
Slovakia: Catholics Protest the Sacking of Popular Archbishop
A concert in support of Róbert Bezák, the popular archbishop of Trnava who was sacked for unknown reasons, took place on Tuesday and was the next step in various protests, including this online petition [sk] as well as worshipping in front of the church [sk] instead of inside it. Three...
Slovakia: Teachers Call for Help in Open Letter to Education Minister
Two elementary school teachers wrote an open letter to the Slovak Minister of Education, highlighting the problems they face with their students who are “significantly maladjusted socially, [and] are almost exclusively students of the Romani origin,” sparking controversy.
Slovakia: SOZA Strikes Again
One year after having been defeated by public opinion, the Slovak Performing and Mechanical Rights Society (SOZA), which was asking fees for embedded videos on web pages, strikes again. Now SOZA wants fees for St. Nicholaus and Mother's Day performances, during which children recite nursery rhymes and sing folk songs...
Slovakia: “God Can Cure You”
On May 26, approximately 50-60 opponents of the upcoming Gay Pride gathered [sk] in Bratislava for a rally organized by the Association for Protection of Family, together with the Citizens’ Association for Christian Values and Traditions. The main organizer, Jozef Dupkala, offering a helping hand to homosexuals, said: “Your current...
Slovakia: Protest Against Construction Near Bratislava Castle
On April 18, 200-250 [sk] people attended a protest against illegal construction near Bratislava Castle, organized by Bratislava Openly [sk]. The west side of a new white house (a continuation of a historical building, photo here) had to consist of just the ground floor and a minimal attic, but the...