October 2009

Lisbon´s (Brussels) Trauma
Slovak Hungarians lack a more conscious politicia
Wasn´t the amendment of the language law being elaborated too quickly?
Why was it necessary to amend the law on the state language? Because of Slovaks or minorities?
Does the law suppress the use of minority languages?
Will Slovak citizen or foreigner fined if he speaks unliterary or uses a dialect?
Did you negotiate the amendment with the representatives of Slovak Hungarians
Pál Csáky claims that Mr Vollebaek pursues cancellation of penalties included in the amendment. Is it true?
Mr Csáky is a kind of a politician from whom it is rather useless to ask for apology.
Will you accept legitimate comments on the law by the Party of Hungarian Coalition and Pál Csáky?
The Bastion of Executioner renewed by Norwegians
Swords and Lapidary
What is the Prison of Mikluš?
The biggest project in continental tourism
Croatian Leader
TUKE modernizes its professional infrastructure
Computers domain
Delivering documents
Technicom
Priority Projects
Increase in number of doctoral places
Breeze of Oriental Culture and Zen

 

Lisbon´s (Brussels) Trauma
Will Vaclav Klaus, the Czech President, resist such a strong pressure of Brussels and representatives of a three- kilogram- heavy Lisbon Treaty which has incredible 500 pages and wait for British Conservatives who want to win the election and hold the referendum about a new international “reformed treaty” of the EU in May or June 2010? Or will he give up, will he wait for quickened resolution passed by the Czech Constitutional Court, its findings and then the decision will be made whether the Lisbon Treaty will have been signed by the end of the year? Or will he not sign it and thus he will definitely send it to the past? Whatever the result will be, the way how this pregnancy of the ratification process of this treaty ends up is very sad and undignified. Well, this treaty was supposed to quicken the European integration (i.e. strengthen hegemony of Brussels bureaucracy over ordinary citizens.) and make the European institutions more efficient (i.e. strengthen their competences and its dominance over states).
The leaders of the European Institutions claim that Europe has not much time to spare, that it is in a hurry. They claim that Europe has no other alternative. On the other hand, the citizens of the Unions do not know yet what the European officers and politicians really offer- the European Superstate, a hybrid or the European ruling of bureaucracy that wants to make decisions on what size and length is the appropriate one for the right “European” cucumber otherwise its growing on the farms will not be given any subsidies…
We are witnessing blackmailing and trading among the member states of the Union because of the Lisbon Treaty. However, Slovakia approved the Treaty smoothly as uneducated politicians and representatives (thanks to expectations) did not give citizens any chance to express their opinion in referendum. They assumed our citizens would not understand it neither they would have time to read it along with many Slovak politicians and MPs so it was much better to ratify it in the parliament as fast as possible. Just to get some peace and quiet. Slovaks were afraid of being accused by Brussels, of desiring for something different and having opposite opinions on the contents of the European integration. Euro and its implementation were the main goals, we did not mean to cause “any unwanted problems” that might have ruined the image of Slovakia.
Who cares that the Lisbon Treaty, for example, does not guarantee Slovakia to have its commissar as the number of them is going to be decreased.
When humiliated Ireland and the Irish people refused the Lisbon Treaty in their first referendum, a wave of antagonism ran through. As soon as the Treaty got “Yes” from the majority of Irish voters in the second round (Having been threatened by Brussels), everything seem to be perfect. But is it really? The second Irish referendum finally approved (hardly) the Treaty because Prime Minister Brian Cowen had been given a promise to have a commissar in a new European Commission, that the Lisbon Treaty would not endanger neutrality of Ireland, its taxing sovereignty and strict laws concerning the termination of pregnancy. Great Britain and Poland negotiated some exceptions in applying the Chart of Basic Human Rights that will not be mandatory for them.
What an international treaty it is! Does its ratification require exceptions, political and economic blackmailing? Tell me why as it is claimed to be so fair, clear and democratic, the Treaty had to be ratified by the national parliaments and not by referendums? Due to some “safety reasons”? The fact that Ireland was the only country where the referendum had been held is a strike and ridicule of the so-called “European democracy”. Obviously, it is the evidence of how they are afraid of citizens, their opinions and discussions as people would definitely put a stop to the Treaty if the referendum had been held. Why should they say “yes”? They have had enough of domestic bureaucrats and lying and corrupted politicians.
It has already been nine years since the Union operates based on the Nice Treaty. So far, nothing bad has happened. We survived it without having more serious problems and difficulties. However, what makes things more complicated are the relationships among bureaucrats as their number is growing dramatically. And they cost a lot of money and will be getting more and more expensive. It is interesting that the Lisbon Treaty pays much more attention to movement of competences from the state to the institutions, it strengthens ruling of the European bureaucracy and politicians from the most powerful states but does not solve radical decrease of the number of the European Parliament, officers and redundant institutions, it does not solve radical fall in salaries, regular fees and other financial benefits.
What would have happened if Europe had stopped and proposed itself another alternative? For example, cancellation of the Lisbon Treaty, there would be an audit held to create the EU as a pact or a club of influential national states whose security would not be dependent on NATO, which is controlled by NATO. Utopia? And what if it is not? Nowadays, we know that Brussels cannot even dream of other alternatives. So far, the democracy in the capital of the EU has gone!
At the end of my reflection I offer an observation about what will happen if the Lisbon Treaty is implemented. In the current Council of the EU (the Council of Ministers) which is the most decisive body of the EU, the votes are divided as following: Germany- 29 votes, Britain- 29, France- 29, Italy 29, Spain – 27, Romania 14, Holland 13, Greece- 12, the Czech Republic- 12, Bulgaria- 12, Hungary- 12, Portugal- 12, Sweden- 10, Austria- 10, Slovakia- 7, Denmark- 7, Finland- 7, Ireland- 7, Lithuania- 7, Latvia 4, Slovenia- 4, Estonia- 4, Cyprus- 4, Luxembourg- 4 and Malta- 3 votes. 90 votes are needed to veto the resolution in the council. Ten new member states from Central and East Europe have 103 votes what means they are able to put a stop to thing unacceptable resolutions. If the Lisbon Treaty is valid, vetoing is only possible with necessary member states which include 35% citizens of the Union. Ten new members from East and Central Europe represent 20,83% citizens, in other words, they cannot block a single resolution even if they are unites and unanimous in their attitudes! In this case, the Lisbon Treaty is not a unifying element but it diversifies the EU into important and unimportant states, it legitimizes dictate of powerful ones, uniformed thinking, discipline and obedience and it eliminates any “ focuses” of different opinions, thinking and creativity, because they will not even be supported from the economic point of view. Three out of four big countries (Germany, France, Italy and Great Britain) can put a stop to any intentions of the European Union anytime. And at present, we are at the beginning of later disintegration of the European Union. Who made it all up?
Róbert Matejovič, editor in chief


Slovak Hungarians lack a more conscious politician
“In Slovakia you simply cannot force anyone to speak Slovak language. If one wants to be isolated in a ghetto and does not mind that he does not understand Slovak in particular situations, it is his business,” states Marek Maďarič, the Minister of Culture of the Slovak Republic.
 
Róbert Matejovič
Photo: Vladimír Benko
 
Due to the amendment of the law on the state language, Slovakia has gone through a lot of unfair attacks and critics from the Hungarian Republic, its foreign lobby and political leaders of two ethnical parties of Slovak Hungarians- the Party of Hungarian Coalition (SMK) and a new party Most- Híd which intends to play the kind of a role of a bridge connecting Slovakia and Hungary. Slovakia won a sharp diplomatic fight for “Slovak language in Slovakia and mainly in its south” in summer this year. That fight needlessly burdened Slovak diplomacy. After that fight Slovakia asks its south neighbour and these two basic questions- can serious relationships be built between the two states, Slovaks and Hungarians if one side attacks another one, its government and citizens using plenty of lies? If the ethnical political party does not develop civil principle in the ethnically mixed areas and its leaders who are paid from the money from Slovak tax payers, lie not just Slovak Hungarians, the Hungarians government but also European or American institutions?
 
Mr Maďarič, hasn’t your Ministry failed in terms of PR? Before the public in Slovakia and abroad learnt about the law and its contents, tough and unfair critics from SMK, Hungary and Hungarian lobby abroad has appeared. Why did you not carry out more intensive explanatory campaign about the law after 30th June 2009? Or you just did not expect such a strong anti- Hungarian campaign?
Until the moment of passing the amendment of the law, tough but fair disputes about its contents had been held in the parliament. Before June 30, 2009, the Party of Hungarian Coalition and main political critics had not expressed such lies and misleading arguments and no misinterpreting campaign had been led. The responds of the political leaders of Slovak Hungarians and Hungarian politicians in Hungary reached enormous dimension and it was based on lies which cannot be proved by any parts of the law discussed. For example, the information that people unable to speak Slovak and breaking the law would be fined although there is not a single word concerning it in the law spread so quickly. Or claiming that Slovak Hungarians will be punished if they listen to holy masses in Hungarian language. It is absurd because the law does not adjust the use of liturgical languages. Or the lie about being fined when doctors or nurses will communicate with a patient in minority language. What kind of PR were we supposed to do? Should we have thought in advance what kind of lies would be spread about the law? Should we have made up things and get the campaign ready before them? No one had ever presumed that so many lies would have been spread so quickly after passing the amendment of the law. We had to focus our attention to denying the lies and not to explaining real impacts of this law.
 
How do you understand, then, that instead of a pragmatic discussion, a lot lies and dis- interpretation of the law dominated in the public opinions in Slovakia? Was it possible to stop it? Was there a pressure on the Party of Hungarian Coalition to stop spreading disinformation?
To be honest with you, not only the Party of Hungarian Coalition but also political representatives in Hungary used the Law on Language to hide partially their own economic and social problems in their own country. It was used for a political fight between bigger and smaller nationalistic and political parties as Fidesz and Jobbik and partially Hungarian socialists.
This Hungarian policy, which always culminates before the election, is responsible for that wild attack against the law. Its contents are to use MPs from other states through so-called Forum of Hungarian MPs in the Carpathian Valley or declaration that all the MPs of the European Parliament with Hungarian nationality are supposed to act together. It is not precedent as the fractions of this European institution are not based on nationality but on ideological focus. I have to mention that Knut Vollebaek, a High Commissar of OBSE for Minorities, finds this policy very dangerous as it connects minorities above the borders with dangerous features of irredentism.
Hungarian policy attempted to make an impression that minorities are repressed in Slovakia. One of such lies had spread directly from the foreign committee of the Hungarian Parliament- in Slovakia; people will be fined for using their minority language! These are the roots of this campaign against Slovakia.
 
Wasn´t the amendment of the language law being elaborated too quickly?
The need to elaborate an amendment of the original law on the state language that was passed by the parliament in 1995 has been discussed since 2001. At the time, the former government of Mikuláš Dzurinda approved the conception of protection of the state language and just agreed on its amending. In 2006, R. Fico´s government also declared protection of the state law and defined the need in amending the law on the state language which was included in government’s agenda. Then, there was a document about measures in the field of the state language elaborated and approved by the government. It proved the requirement for amending the law and defined the reasons based on every- year repeated and proved experiences. The state language is not used in some areas of public relations and citizens cannot learn and read particular information in their state language. Then, the elaboration of the law followed, in November 2008, it was submitted for reading and annotation and in
June 2009, the bill was passed by the parliament. It was rather long process that was annotated and commented at each phase of its processing, it just did not suddenly happen at the end of an electoral period as some people claim. It is the result of diligent and continual work.
 
Why was it necessary to amend the law on the state language? Because of Slovaks or minorities?
The core of the law on the state language is to ensure all the citizens in the Slovak Republic to have information available if necessary in the state language. So that it did not happen that Slovaks will be forced to use minority languages if they want to understand announcements, texts and performances for the public. The goal seems to be logical and useful. Our education system creates suitable conditions so that everyone could learn the state language. It means that Slovak language could be understood by all the citizens of our state regardless their nationality. And every state needs a unified tool of communication that unifies the society. The Slovak Constitution gives this right to Slovak language.
Generally speaking, the amendment does not change present philosophy essentially. I am surprised that valid measures are considered to be something new. Many probably do not know the law and others did not follow it purposely as they were aware that there was no way to amend it. And this is the real reason of resistance against the amendment. It implements the possibility to fine, which is not so unusual in Europe, although in Slovakia, the penalty must be preceded by the written warning and the deadline to amend it must be set as well. Other countries do not bother with issuing warnings.
The critics of the law, mainly from the SMK, will never confess that basically, they would not mind the same law because they were unable to ensure, for example, informational signs for citizens in both languages. Well, I do not really have to emphasise that the municipalities in the south lack Slovak and not Hungarian signs.
The main goal of the amendment was to ensure possibility to claim the right for information for all the citizens of the Slovak Republic, i.e. in the state language. When Commissar Knut Vollebaek visited Slovakia, one journalist asked him at the press conference how he sees the fact that based on the amendment, some signs and boards will have to be changed as they are not bilingual… I had to respond in a very astounded way- the current law also included the obligation to have public announcements and informational signs which are in minority language in the state language as well. This law has been valid since 1995! These findings just show us how the law is not respected and applied.
 
Does the law suppress the use of minority languages?
No. No one punishes anyone for using them. Hungarian politician tell lies. On the contrary, all the rights regarding minority language are respected as their use in implemented in special measures and having passed the amendment has enlarged the space for their application in the public relationships.
 
What basic philosophy does it follow - put a stop to isolation of Hungarian minority or protection of Slovak “minority” in the regions where Hungarian minority is majority?
Primarily, the law solves the use of the state language in chosen areas of public relations – at schools, in Medias, at offices. It does not disrupt privacy and after its amending, present barriers in using foreign and minority languages in regional and electronic media.
 
Will Slovak citizen or foreigner fined if he speaks unliterary or uses a dialect?
The law does not concern individuals and their language performance. No one can be fined if he speaks unliterary or uses a dialect, it is the other way round, the law allows using expressions from all language classes including new international expressions and slang, the supervision regards only codified form of the state language. In terms of health care, it has always been the same: if the patient does not speak the state language, the staff communicates with him in language he understands.
 
Did you negotiate the amendment with the representatives of Slovak Hungarians?
There was a public discussion during annotation process with the representatives of minorities at the Council of Government for the Minorities and I, personally, have negotiated with the representatives of the SMK a few times at the Ministry and Parliament.
 
Aren’t all those activities of the leaders of the Hungarian minority in Slovakia just an attempt to hide the part of Slovak Hungarians, mainly in the regions where bilingualism is applied at offices and where Hungarian language is used as teaching language at schools and Slovak the state language is taught as a foreign language, is not willing to learn Slovak language and integrate within the whole Slovak Republic? They speak Hungarian at home and at school anyway. What if they are worried as they do not speak the state language and the amendment of the language law, mainly its sanctions and perceive the law as a state “forcing and assimilation tool? “
I might agree with you. Partially. Surely, it is not an attempt to hide something but it is the attempt to prevent the present state to change, which was expressed in the discussion about the state language. I will give you one example. We found out that there are 15 % citizens of the Slovak nation is a small village near the border, however, all informational signs are just in Hungarian. Yes, it seems as if the situation in some municipalities and regions in the nationally mixed areas reached the point when the pressure of the Hungarian minority, despite being majority, is put on Slovak people to use minority language in public relations where the state language is supposed to be used. And this is another root of the problems that influences the Hungarian minority. It might be done on purpose but a part of them does not feel the need to speak the state language because de facto he/ she does not travel away from its mixed territory where he does not need it. Thus a kind of ghetto is being established in the south of Slovakia, which does not help Hungarian minority either. Surely, they will want to work widely. It is also the matter pf principle. In the Slovak minority education, there is some space created for a member of the minority to learn the state language, no doubts. On the other hand there must be balance between the protection of the state language and minority language rights. And these are standard or even of a higher standard in Slovakia. But only one minority out of twelve claims something different. Other minorities have never had any problems with a language law or with the support of minorities.
According to the language law, the state creates such conditions in the system of schooling, education, science and information so that each citizen of the Slovak Republic could learn and use the state language obtaining all four language skills. What kind of conditions do they mean? Is it so at school where Hungarian language is a teaching language?
Although the conditions for learning Slovak language have been created, we cannot force anyone to learn neither Slovak nor other foreign language. The school system is formed so that each citizens of the Slovak republic studying at minority school could speak the state language. And it is really disappointing if he/ she does not. On the other hand, we have witnessed how the Minister of Education showed his attempts to enlarge the number of Slovak language at minority school and how the MPs for the SMK disagreed and claimed that thus the number of lessons in Hungarian language would have decreased. While Slovak language is the universal communication language in the area of the Slovak Republic.
 
Why do you not put more pressure on the leaders of the ethnical parties of Slovak Hungarians through public opinions so that they began appeal to their voters and minority to learn the state language? Paradoxically, many Slovak Hungarians cannot speak official Hungarian language either and they just use Hungarian dialect…
From my political point of view, Slovakia cannot force anybody to learn Slovak language. However, we are obliged to provide all the citizens in our state with the information available in the state language in the public sphere- this is the core of the whole matter. In order to avoid the situation that I as a citizen of the Slovak Republic, not even in one square meter, could not get a piece of important information in the state language as well. If one wants to be isolated in a ghetto and does not mind that he does not understand Slovak in particular situations, it is his business. Nevertheless, we have to protect rights and ensure claim of the law for all the citizens in Slovakia regardless their nationality.
 
Isn’t it time Slovak society stopped being traumatized by the part of Hungarian minority and its political leaders who are permanently discontented and often feel, without any reason, being endangered by the Slovak Republic? In fact, it has been like that since the Velvet Revolution. How is it possible to encourage loyal Slovak Hungarians who know that language law will not do any harm to their mother tongue and does not eliminate bilingualism at offices, can speak Slovak and feel comfortable in Slovakia?
I see the basic problem that the SMK is a non- standard political party as it is ethnical. The party as such makes an impression that it enriches ethnical Hungarians and voters, their rights, which are “poor and insufficient” in their opinion. It is the essential fact for reasoning its existence as a political party and that is why it purposely encourages some kinds of feelings in the Hungarian minority. Language law is the most visible example of how the party managed to deceive not only their minority but abroad as week having been helped by the Hungarian media that used to broadcast false information about Slovakia and language law for many months. The second root of the problem is that more educated people of Hungarian minority enrol their children to Slovak schools and they know they will not lose their Hungarian language and Hungarian ethnicity. Slovak Hungarians miss more enlightened politicians than Pál Csáky or Miklós Duray, who criticize such behaviour.
 
Nevertheless, how long will Slovakia continue explaining and proving that Slovak policy does not “threaten and assimilate” Hungarian minority? When will Slovak politicians set the limits for the Party of Hungarian Coalition as well as Most- Híd: if these parties really want to be civil and build civil principles in the nationally mixed villages and towns in the south of Slovakia, why do they keep talking about Hungarian minority and so-called problems or truths? Why do you not require from them the evidence of their practical civil policy for all citizens?
It is a serious issue and works both ways, outside and inside the Slovak Republic. From the outside, over many years, we have always been forced into the idea of being those who only defend themselves, those who are always blamed and explaining although there has never been anything to explain. We managed to defend our positions in the international field in terms of actual issue of the language law. In my opinion, it is time we actively opened the issues of minorities and compared developments minorities have gone through in Hungary and Slovakia and what are they current rights and position like. From inside, give activities of the SMK their right name, it is an ethnical party and from this point of view non- standard and it just pretends its “civil” character.
 
According to Knut Vollebaek, High Commissar OBSE, the amendment is in accordance with the international standards but the law is not good. How do I have to understand that? In what ways is it not good?
The Slovak media did not inform exactly. Mr Commissar did not say so. He said that the amendment is in accordance with the international norms and standards but it does not mean the law is perfect.
 
Pál Csáky claims that Mr Vollebaek pursues cancellation of penalties included in the amendment. Is it true?
You see, it is also misleading information. High Commissar’s report reads that implementation of sanctions is fully legitimate and appeals for their very sensible and rare application.
 
Will you, personally, and the Slovak government ask Mr Csáky and Hungarian government for apology as they spread lies about Slovak language law? Will you stop communication until they apologize?
Mr Csáky is a kind of a politician from whom it is rather useless to ask for apology.
 
Will you accept legitimate comments on the law by the Party of Hungarian Coalition and Pál Csáky?
How can a liar contribute to make the law clearer? I do not find Mr Csáky and the Party of Hungarian Coalition the partners I would communicate with as they abused good will of the Ministry. I negotiated with SMK during the annotating period before passing the amendment in the parliament. Some annotations, for example concerning the regional minority broadcasting of electronic media were accepted. After June 30, they just came up with lies; I cannot imagine further discussion with liars. They abused our straightforwardness.
 
Within the defence of the law on the state language, we lack the comparison to language conditions minorities have in Hungary. Why don’t you, your Ministry and the Slovak Government use this comparison?
Yes, I have already mentioned it at the international level so that we could compare real state and relationship of the Hungarian policy with minorities in Hungary that is the biggest critic of minority policies of its neighbours. We have to start talking about it. Slovak law on the state language and its amendment is not about minorities. When we were passing the bill, we did not even think we were opening the issue of minorities as minority languages, the extend of their use and care for is the subject and content of another law. After Pál Csáky, a chauvinistic politician, had claimed that the law concerns minorities although it does not, we had to begin talking, especially abroad, about what the legislation and situation of minorities are like in Hungary. Let mention some facts- after the Second World War, 400,000 Slovaks lived in Hungary, at present only 18,000 people declare themselves Slovak what means there has obviously been assimilation. In Slovakia, minority schools teach all subjects in Hungarian and Slovak language is used only in four – five lessons a week. In Hungary, minority Slovak school teaches all subjects in Hungarians and Slovak language is taught as a foreign language a few lessons a week. There are no regular liturgies in Slovak language. Jenöa Kaltenbach, a former ombudsman for minorities, says that minorities are disappearing and are being assimilated in Hungary. The situation in Slovakia and Hungary is simply incomparable. Now, we have an opportunity to show the whole world that it is more than absurd to accuse Slovakia of suppressing the minorities, we have high- standards for minorities, we generously sponsor their cultural events, Hungarian minority has its museums, theatres, dancing groups. So, if one is at least a bit willing to know what the truth is, he will, definitely.
 
Slovak critics of your amendment claim that the amendment of the language law proved factual and practical bilingualism in villages and towns Slovakia where live at least 20% of people belonging to minority and use of two official languages- Slovak and Hungarian. Do you agree with this critic? Is literary Hungarian language used in offices in Slovakia? What is the difference between the state and official language?
Bilingualism in nationality mixed areas of Slovakia where live at least 20% of citizens belonging to the minority were our main aim from the beginning of our work on the he amendment on the state language. The basic difference between the state and the official language is only in its formal expression as basically it is always the same the state language. Since 1995, only the term “the state language” has been used in Slovakia.
And it is defined by the Constitution. Apart from that, the expression ´ minority language in official contacts´ is used, which means that it concerns minority languages that are in its contents and under particular conditions stated in the law on use of minority language in offices. The state language is officially recognized language of the state. The state is obliged to provide using of this language to all citizens speaking it. On the contrary, minority language (used by the particular minority in offices) is only allowed to be used; however, its use is supported and eased appropriately. But it is not allowed to force citizens and representatives of public administration to use minority language. In some extraordinary case, however, laws require its obligatory use in terms of minority language as well, e.g. pedagogical documentation and other documentation at school with minority language used for teaching or written answer issued by the body of the civil administration address to a citizens who is the member of the minority in the nationally mixed area.
 
When will the Ministry elaborate the methodological instruction to those pats of the law in which there was a worry of their implementation that had appeared during the campaign?
Methodological instructions will have been prepared by the end of the year 2009.
 
 
Who is Mgr. Marek Maďarič?
He was born in Bratislava (23 March 1966). He studied film and television dramaturgy and scriptwriting at the Academy of Musical Arts in Bratislava. For a few years, he worked as a dramaturge and editor - in chief of the broadcasting in the Slovak Television. He is the author of some television scripts and radio plays. In the year 2002 and 2004, he held the post of the vice- chairman of the Council of the Slovak Television. He is the vice - chairman of the political party SMER- social democracy. Since July 2006, he has been a Slovak Minister of Culture. He speaks English and French.


The Bastion of Executioner renewed by Norwegians
The East Slovak Museum in Košice has made a short- length film and a performance showing executioner’s life.
 
After a large reconstruction that lasted 14 months, a renewed historical medieval area of the Bastion of Executioner, a yard of Mikluš´s Prison and the Flat of Executioner flat with an exposition were opened in Košice. It is administered by the East Slovak Museum. The total budget of the reconstruction required the investments of 427, 139 Euro (12.86 mil SKK) which covered the project by the Košice Self- Governing Region. 85% of the costs of the successful project were paid by the Norwegian funds within the Norwegian Financial Mechanism (NFM)- EEA and financial mechanism of the European Economic Space, the rest (15%) was co-financed by the sources coming from the budget of the Slovak Republic. Although co-financing of the regional self- government was not required, the Košice Self- Governing Region allocated other 222,429 Euro (6.7mil SKK).
 
The objects of the Bastion and the Flat of Executioner were built in the 13th century and represent the only preserved tower of out 32 medieval towers of the town fortification system in Košice. “This reconstruction removed the static failure of the Flat of Executioner, which had been closed to the public for over seven years, a barrier- free access, built a roofed balcony that connected the flat with a multifunctional yard when the stage with benches and illumination were constructed. Thanks to that, various cultural and social events and festivals – historical music concerts, medieval theatre or martial arts,” Róbert Pollák, a director of the East Slovak Museum informed us.
 
Swords and Lapidary
In the first room of the Executioner’s Flat, you will have a chance to observe medieval furniture. In the next room, there is an exposition with three executing swords which are the focal point of the room. One of them has been lent to the Košice Wax Figurine Museum. One sword has an inscription on it:”IUS GLADII CIVITATIS CASSOVIENSIS - the right to carry out executions in the town of Košice. On four facsimiles of the acts from the archive, there are verdicts with simple pictures, a payment slip of the executioner and an act which gave the town the right to behead and execute criminals and a document explaining why Košice executioner’s hands were cut.
During the archaeological research in the yard of the Prison of Mikluš, some leather semi - products and some parts of shoes. They are exhibited in a mini - lapidary where built - in and freely  - displayed fragments of medieval Košice. What visitors find very interesting is a replica of the most popular torturing tool called stocks, which they can try themselves. Disabled people have a special lift available which will take them right from the yard of Mikluš Prison through the balcony right into the Flat of Executioner.
 
What is the Prison of Mikluš?
It is a national cultural sight. It was created in the 17th century by joining it to late- gothic houses at the end of the street which had been closed by the Maľovaná brána (Painted Gate) until the fire in 1556. It does not exist any more and there is a Calvinist church. In the 17th century the alley near the prison was joined by so-called The Flat of Executioner on the second floor and it was connected with a prison by a balcony and on the other side to the area of the Bastion of Executioner. The prison was used until the beginning of the 20th century, from the 19th century homeless people, roughnecks and drunks. Since 1942, it has been a museum and there is an exhibition called “Košice in the Middle Ages” held there. The prison along with Rodošto exhibition belongs to the most visited expositions in the East Slovak Museum, which is annually visited by 20,000 tourists. The management of the museum expects to increase the number of visitors after the reconstruction.
The East Slovak Museum, which was established by the Košice Self - Governing region, is one of the oldest and most important museums in Slovakia. It was established in 1872 as an initiative of Imrich Henszlmann and Klimkovič´s brothers who also founded Upper - Hungarian Museum Group in Košice.


Example for Slovakia
Spa Sveti Martin na Muri
Medzimurje County has its new ecological attraction near the river Mura- the thermal spa offering not just apartments and swimming pools, but also the modern hotel Spa Golfer, a sport centre and high- quality wellness centre.
 
Róbert Matejovic
Photo: Toplica Sveti Martin, d.d.
 
In the village of Sveti Martin na Muri, the furthest north - west corner of Croatia, almost on the border with Hungary and Slovenia, a thermal entertaining and recreational spa called Toplice Sveti Martin has been built since 2005. So far, a four- star luxurious hotel Spa Golfer, a sport centre for professional sportsmen and heated nine - hole- golf course were opened in September. Stjepan Mesić, popular Croatian president was its unofficial godfather. Damir Bajs, the Minister of tourism, and Ivica Perhoč, the head of Medzimurje County, singers like Bojan Jambrošić, Natali Dizdar, Goran Karan, Vinko Coce took part as well. At midnight, they all could enjoy fireworks. More than 1,000 guests were invited, including representatives of political, economic and cultural lives.
 
Great opening had to prove the focus of the complex on the main clients - rich middle and higher classes not only from Croatia but mainly from Austria and Slovenia. It is an ambitious goal regarding high - quality services in spas in these countries where guests a re used to high- standard and luxury of services provided.
The new hotel worth 26 million Euros which surrounded by cultivated Medzimurje banks and woods, has the capacity of 320 beds (151 modern - equipped rooms and 6 suits). The congress hall for 500 people is its part. There are also two restaurants, a piano bar, a lounge bar and a children kindergarten.
The pride of our hotel is a luxurious wellness centre on the area of 1,800 square meters, Swimming pools, saunas, a solarium, a salt cave and complex holistic programmes with an individual approach which is ensured by modern care and unity of body and soul will emphasise its glamour and benefits. Services are provided by educated and friendly stuff that were really happy to show and explain to me all relaxation procedures, cosmetics and gastronomy with many specialties and wine from Medzimurje.
 
The biggest project in continental tourism
“All the amenities mentioned above are situated in the area of 130,000 square meters in a newly created premises we began constructing in June last year. Spa Sveti Martin with the capacity of 650 visitors daily have everything needed for relax,“ said Nenad Žignić, a trade director of the company Toplice Sveti Martin, d.d.
Finishing the construction of the hotel and its infrastructure and a golf course completed another phase of the project for the development of a spa and golf resort Sveti Martin. 300 million Kunas (40 mil Euro) have been invested so far having offered 200 free job opportunities and thus it has become the biggest project in Croatian continental tourism. What is even more interesting is the fact that the investor is a domestic Croatian company, i.e. its five co - partners, who were so courageous and managed to convince commercial banks about the importance of this project. Stjepan Mesić, Croatian President, appreciated their courage and attempts in his speech and also mentioned other new spa clients: “At the time of crisis, we wanted to help our tourism and we cancelled visas for Russians, Ukrainians and Chinese. However, there are also counties with no crisis- for example Kuwait, Saudi Arabia. Why should people from those countries not come to our country and explore its tourist attractions?”
 
Croatian Leader
“Our spa is the leader of continental tourism in Croatia. Before 2005, there was only an open swimming pool and a pub there, our project is one of the biggest investments built from the basic stone in entire Croatia,“ emphasises Rudolf Radikovič, the President of the Board of Directors of Toplice Sveti Martin, d.d.
As Nenad Žignić informed me, 20 luxurious villas are being built near the golf course at the moment. Soon they will be offered for purchasing. Moreover, the construction of the second hotel, an amusement centre an individual constructions in the village have already been planned and will have finished the fourth and the last phase of the whole project. “With the total capacity of 1,000 beds and 200,000 sleeping over, the Medzimurje County belongs to the biggest continental Croatian counties in terms of the number of sleeping over. Since the opening of our apartment and swimming pool complex with toboggans and a restaurant, the number of sleeping over increased four times,” adds Nenad who also invites and expects guests in Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary. “We are a high - quality destination as we offer romantic and family holidays, sport and active relax congress tourism and firms being surrounded by beautiful nature and offering gourmet experience.”


TUKE modernizes its professional infrastructure
The University has opened the Centre of library services and is preparing scientific and technical park Technicom. If all projects for using the structural funds of the EU that have been submitted are successful, the school will receive irreclaimable financial contribution reaching almost 33 million Euro.
 
Róbert Matejovic
Photo: Jozef Veselý
 
The Technical University in Košice (TUKE) has a new Centre of library information and scientific and technical information that belongs to the most modern multi-functional library centres in Slovakia. The construction took three years and needed investments of almost 7 million Euro (more that 200 million SKK). Having given this centre to our students and university employees, we have moved to higher level in accumulation and dissemination of information, mainly by using modern information and communication technologies,” says Anton Čižmár, the Rector of the University.
 
The capacity of the Centre of library information is dimensioned for a half million library units in the field of technical and natural sciences, social sciences, economics but also art and architecture. It basic goal is to provide university students and employees higher standards of education, to support scientific research and pedagogical process at university.
 
Computers domain
The library is suitably integrated with a conference hall, with the room for cultural and training events, exhibitions and relaxing zone with a libress. Not books but computers domain the library. There are 111 PCs for standard study and 97 PCs for studying demanding professional programmes focused on training are available to students.
“Students wit their own notebooks have wireless connection to the Internet through WiFi technology. The premises are equipped to hold and organize video- conferences. Modern security system protects the library fund to be stolen,“ says Ondrej Látka, the director of the TUKE Library.
 
Delivering documents
There is a fully - automatic integrated library and information system providing perfect operation of present and absent library services. As TUKE is involved in the project National Information System of support of research and development in Slovakia, the school has an access to electronic information sources and to digital data bases. You can find full-text, science - metric and bibliographical electronic information sources in portfolio of databases. All databases (collections) in portfolio come from reliable and world prestigious editors, Ondrej Látka continues.
Apart from traditional library services and inter - library lending services, students use the service called “document delivery”, i.e. electronic delivery of full - text information sources. The centre has conditions for digitalization, storing and generalization of special kinds of documents from the field of qualification works and publication activities of creative employees of the university.
Within the library - information training of users, the centre will organize trainings, information days and seminars. As an accredited centre for distant training and education, the centre will organize specialized trainings and courses within the system of further education of library employees in Slovakia.
 
Technicom
“This centre is not the only investment within which we managed to culminate financial sources from the European structural funds, state budget and our own entrepreneurial activities. We are going further. In November 2009, we would like to place the basic stone of a new scientific and technical park Technicom, a four - storey multifunctional building right next to the library centre. After completing its construction in 2012, the building will be used not just by university, its faculties, associations, employees, doctorates and post - doctorates but mainly for starting small and medium entrepreneurs mainly from our students and employees with the purpose to transfer technologies from university to practice,” says Anton Čižmár.
In the year 2008 and 2009, the Technical University Košice was successful in submitting two projects within the challenge Support of infrastructure of universities in order to improve the conditions of the entire educational and training process within the Operational Program Research and Development. The projects are focused on the development of infrastructure and modernization of information and communication technologies with an aim to improve the conditions and quality of education. The school was given irreclaimable contribution of the total value of 9.5 million Euros. (286,188 117.1 SKK).
 
Priority Projects
So far, the Technical University has acquired irreclaimable contributions worth almost 17.5 million Euros for its projects. During the year 2009, the university has submitted otter projects that will need irreclaimable financial contributions in the volume of 6.2 million Euro (187 mil. SKK). The high priority project is the project Centre of research of efficiency of integration of combined systems renewable sources of energy within the address Support of applied research, development and transfer of technologies in the field energy and energetics. The required amount of the irreclaimable funding is 5.350 million Euros (161,192 million SKK).
The university also participated in the preparations of the national project Slovak Infrastructure for high - performing counting whose coordinator was the Computing Centre if the Slovak Academy of Sciences. The main goal of the project is build up computer infrastructure that will enable to carry out high- performing counting for science, research, development and training at the European level.
Within the operational programme Education, the school elaborated the project called “The Package of innovative elements for the reform of education at TUKE with a required volume of irreclaimable financial contribution worth 856,463 Euro (25,804 mil SKK). “If all our submitted projects are successful, our university will acquire funding of the total amount of approx. 32.8 million Euro (988, 347, 01.1 SKK) in a very short time,“ Rector Anton Čižmár emphasised.
 
Increase in number of doctoral places
At present, the Technical University in Košice is involved in 63 international projects within the united European research and training space. 348 domestic projects are being solved at our university; most of them are within VEGA (218) and the Agency for Supporting Development and Research. In 2008, the school was given more than 580,000 Euro (175 mil. SKK) to solve our projects. It is 6306 Euro (190,000 SKK) per a creative person. “In 2008, our university ranked second within public school of higher education in Slovakia in terms of successes in acquiring foreign research grants. From the point of view of Slovak projects, we came third,” claim Anton Čižmár.
Their success reflected in the increased number of scholarships for doctorates in daily for of study. 198 new doctoral places were allocated by the Ministry of Education of the SR in the daily form of study for the academic year 2009/ 2010.


Breeze of Oriental Culture and Zen
Peter Kocák, an outstanding academic painter and graphic, comes from Čierna nad Tissou (1961). He attended Secondary Arts and Crafts School in Košice and a graduate from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava where he studied at the Section of Free - Style Graphics and Book Illustrations at Professor I. Rumanský. He deals with free style graphics ex libris; he uses techniques of a dry needle, etching, mesolynth, lino-cut, wood-cut, painting, photography and logo-type. He is a collector of Japanese and Chinese graphics, ex-libris and calligraphy. Since 1989, he has been a pedagogue at Prešov University in Prešov where he gives lectures on graphics, drawing, decorative composition, writing and essentials of calligraphy. He has already presented his works at 30 individual exhibitions in Slovakia and at 82 international exhibitions held abroad. He was been given many awards and prizes. He is a member of foreign artistic groups and associations.
 
March/April 2019China's investment offensive is waiting for Slovakia
For the Health of Animals and our Country
Stone Bridge in Konjica
"Tunnel of rescue"
Will it pass or die?
"Chinese Creditor Imperialism"
One Zone, One Way
How and in what way do Russia and China threaten a politically fragmented EU?
Long Live the Repub...Read more