Slovakia in the News October 22, 2012

The News

October 22, 2012 (posted October 31, 2012)

Allan Stevo

As I read the news I always keep an eye out for interesting articles on Slovakia. These are articles about Slovakia that caught my eye over the past week or so.

Living Chinese Citizens Are Welcomed to Slovak Schools
The Slovak govt is courting Chinese students. To put things into perspective – 15 Chinese students studied in Slovakia last year (2010-2011 school year).

Dead Chinese Citizens Are Welcomed to Slovak Museums
Plastinated human bodies are put on display in Slovakia. Falun gong practitioners worry that they are ill-gotten Chinese corpses that are on display.

Most Human Beings May Cross EU Common Borders Freely, Presidents, While in Office May Not

The Slovak Governemnt won a European Union high court ruling that it was right in denying access to the Hungarian President. ArabNews.com ran an interesting article digging a bit into the history between Slovakia and Hungary. A pithy quote from the article contrasts the current success of Slovakia economically against the current state of Hungary economically.

“Slovakia is already part of the eurozone, while in 2008 Hungary became the first EU country to receive a bailout from the International Monetary Fund and its economy is struggling with recession.”

Here’s another. And another.

Slovakia Voluntarily Sides With The Russians
Slovan Bratislava Left the Slovak Extraliga and Joined the Russian KHL. While it still takes a back seat to the NHL in terms of respect, the Russian hockey  league (KHL)  is welcoming teams from other countries freely and fairly and is arguably becoming the world’s most international hockey league.  It is intelligently growing its market share in an increasingly globalized world.

Meanwhile the NHL can’t even sit down and agree to a schedule, and players and owners are fighting over scraps in a time where there is dramatic potential for global growth. An often truthful Slovak saying goes “When two fight, a third wins.”

Competition is good. Perhaps it’s important for the NHL to remember it is no longer the only game in town. It is immeasurable what the current lockout will do to the NHL’s international credibility. While I’m no great hockey fan, the proud American in me regrets having to watch this happen.

Russia through trade and free partnership is increasingly becoming an international leader. America is…, well…, America has inherited the USSR’s reputation of being a country foolish enough to try conquering Afghanistan. Many shows of imperial hubris extend from that core tenant that Russia is now looking to peacefully do business and America is now the country trying to conquer Afghanistan (something the USSR was trying to do from the late 1970s on). To return to the Slovak saying “When two fight, a third wins,” I look at America’s increased belligerence in the world and often ask myself “Who is winning today simply because my country has to always be the dominant one and is so often willing to fight to protect that fragile national identity?” In the case of the American (and Canadian) NHL, the answer is the Russian KHL. In the case of other conflicts, I leave that to your better judgement to decipher.  The whole bloodlust and national ego thing fails to inspire me.

Peace, trade, and domestically being an example for freedom are what America is best at and what makes us most prosperous. All the rest of the stuff can be more clearly sorted out by providing a litmus from a less ego-driven nation: “When two fight, a third wins.”  Nearly a quarter century after the fall of communism, I see a dozen examples a week of how America has squandered her good will in Slovakia.  The NHL telling players around the world that they won’t be playing any time soon while Slovan joinsthe KHL is but one small and nearly meaningless example when taken in isolation.  When put into perspective it’s a very significant example.

The Danube

The Danube has a 3km long oil spill.

Slovakia – a weak link for British healthcare?
This article is fascinating in that it sheds some light onto the type of processes Europeans are entrusting to deliver solid medical care.

Silver prices are up.

That means silver mining projects that may at one time not have been thought profitable are now being proposed – among those are projects in Slovakia, where historically there was much mining activity.

UK Kidnapping
Slovaks, with their traditional family values are starting to ask questions about the concept of the welfare system. As long as the welfare system was ineffective, it was easy to ignore and to laugh at the Slovak government. With emigration to places like the UK, with a well developed nanny state, the welfare system is harder to ignore. Forget who owns your children in a nanny state and you’ll learn the answer – the government. Protests broke out in Slovakia last week over the idea that the British Governemnt thinks it should have the authority to take Slovak children from their parents.

A Slovak native, in an attempt to defend the system had this to say:

” It is necessary to understand that adoption is absolutely the last solution, when a family ignores all advice, requests or regulations and continues to threaten/neglect their child. Social offices are here not only to take the children away from families. They are here primarily to teach families to take care of their children properly and responsibly. So, a social worker usually visits the families assigned to her and spends months and months with them while she is helping them.”

She failed to defend the system.  At least she was clear that the bottom line is this: listen to the UK government’s friendly “advice” on how to correctly raise your children or risk losing them forever.

Satan’s Birthday

The Buffalo News  pays homage to Slovak hockey star Miroslav Satan(October 22, 1974) on his birthday.

Government sponsored invite a Foreigner to Lunch Day

Lunch in Slovakia.

Dzurinda the Serbian Advisor

Serbian politician takes on Slovak Ex-Prime Minister as Advisor

Ukrainian Elections

Slovaks keeping an eye on the Ukrainian elections.

Robert Fico – EU President?

Slovak PM Robert Fico is being talked about as an option for EU President.

Are you from Minnesota?
The rotary club wants to send you to Slovakia.

Volkswagen Rewarded

Volkswagen rewarded for their move into Slovakia

Any other interesting stories about Slovakia that you’ve noticed out there? If so, feel free to include a link in the comments section. Any thoughts on the latest news? Thank you.

Allan Stevo writes on Slovak culture at www.52inSk.com.  He is from Chicago and spends most of his time travelling Europe and writing.  You can find more of his writing at www.AllanStevo.com.  If you enjoyed this post, please use the buttons below to like it on Facebook or to share it with your friends by email.  You can sign up for emails on Slovak culture from 52 Weeks in Slovakia by clicking here.

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