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Slovakia crashes out
Pezinok dump opponents win case THE FIGHT by citizens of a small Slovak town to close a waste dump developed close to their homes, which has now dragged on for more than 10 years, might finally have a happy ending for anti-dump activists. The campaigners from Pezinok, near Bratislava, say that a recent Supreme Court decision means the site’s owner no longer has a valid permit to use it as a landfill. They also say that the case has a wider societal significance, since it means that the public must now have access to urban planning decisions that affect the establishment of sites with significant environmental effects. 16 May 2013 Beata Balogová More from Politics & Society
Writers, journalists and bloggers meet in Krakow HUMAN rights and the meaning of freedom of speech in central and eastern Europe and beyond are being debated at an international conference held by ICORN and PEN International WiPC taking place in Krakow between May 14 and May 17, the Villa Decius Association, a non-governmental cultural organisation based in Krakow, informed The Slovak Spectator. 16 May 2013 Compiled by Spectator staff More from Culture & Society
Sme: Military intelligence officers allegedly involved in major theft THE SLOVAK military’s spooks are facing yet another scandal. After a 2011 leak of information about the bugging of journalists which resulted in the dismissal of then defence minister Ľubomír Galko, the media have broken another story concerning leaked intelligence documents. 16 May 2013 Compiled by Spectator staff More from Politics & Society
Smer's pet project runs into delays THE PET project of the government of Robert Fico to reintroduce a unitary health insurance system, which has already put private health insurers operating on the market on alert, is falling behind its original schedule. The so-called transformation law, essential for one of the most discussed plans of the Fico administration, should have already come into effect on May 1. Yet state officials say the delay is due to efforts to devise a watertight law that is resistant to eventual arbitration, which the private insurers say would follow in the event of their expropriation by the state. Meanwhile, the Association of Health Insurers (ZZP), which groups the country’s two private health insurers, Dôvera and Union, suggested that the government should use the delay to reconsider its plan. 9 May 2013 Beata Balogová More from Business
Súboj Slovak Word of the Week THE LIST of famous people killed in a duel (súboj) came close to lengthening recently. Pushkin would have been joined by an unlikely companion – Jozef Čentéš. Much has been written here about the election and appointment of the general prosecutor. But the madness has really reached new heights. It now turns out that Ľubomír Macejka, the husband of Constitutional Court President Ivetta Macejková, wrote Čentéš an angry letter:“I regret that we do not live in a time when I could challenge you to a duel. I would give you the choice of weapons.” “I wish that not only prosecutors, but also people who have thus far known nothing of you, expel you from their company, as someone humanly unacceptable.” 16 May 2013 Lukáš Fila More from Opinion
Finance minister hails 1 percent THE OPPOSITION has collected 40 signatures to launch an appeal to the Constitutional Court against a change to the law governing the court’s own operation which the ruling Smer party passed via a fast-tracked proceeding on April 30. Smer justified its sudden move by saying that it was necessitated by the need to resolve the ongoing deadlock at the court in the case of Slovakia’s next general prosecutor. A series of objections against the court’s 13 judges has left only one of them not subject to claims of bias by either general-prosecutor-elect Jozef Čentéš or President Ivan Gašparovič, who has been refusing to appoint Čentéš for nearly two years since he was chosen as general prosecutor by parliament. 13 May 2013 Beata Balogová More from Business
European armies 'need a conductor' WE NEED to be able to assist our neighbours in becoming more secure themselves because their security is our security, and their stability is our stability, says Antonio Missiroli, a former adviser to the Bureau of European Policy Advisers (BEPA) of the European Commission. Missiroli also argues that some urgency is required to address the security issues facing the European Union, pointing to the cumulative effect of declining defence budgets among EU countries and warning that this may lead to a collective loss of EU defence capabilities. 13 May 2013 Roman Cuprik More from Politics & Society
Rift over NKÚ candidate deepens SEVERAL state offices in Slovakia have been functioning without a legitimate director for a long time now. The authority in charge of auditing public spending is perhaps the second most visible among them, after the General Prosecutor’s Office. The reason is the same in both cases: politics. 13 May 2013 Michaela Terenzani - Stanková More from Politics & Society
Decades of 'little reminders' EDITORIAL SLOVAKS have been incredibly creative in softening the edges of the word ‘corruption’ and have developed a colourful tapestry of expressions to use instead of the word ‘bribe’. Most Slovaks who have, at one time or another, paid a bribe would say they only gave a ‘malá pozornosť’ which might translate to something like a ‘little reminder’ or a ‘small consideration’. The ‘reminder’ of course might be as ‘little’ as €10,000, discreetly slipped into the right pocket. Some still recite the communist-era proverb that if you do not steal from the state you are stealing from your family, and continue greasing the palms of those who control the flow of public funds. 13 May 2013 Beata Balogová More from Opinion
A rough start for graduates Spectator College A glossary of words as well as an exercise related to this article are also published online. 12 May 2013 Roman Cuprik More from Spectator College
Countrywide Events Music, Theater, Exhibition... Western SLOVAKIA 13 May 2013 Zuzana Vilikovská More from Culture & Society
Riding the outsourcing wave OUTSOURCING of accounting, payroll agenda and tax consultancy was introduced in Slovakia primarily by foreign companies, but providers of outsourcing services report a growing interest among local companies as well. The Slovak Spectator spoke with Branislav Ďurajka, partner at KPMG in Slovakia; Matúš Jurových, assistant manager at PwC in Slovakia; Janka Farkašová, manager at the tax department at Deloitte in Slovakia; Bart Waterloos, partner of VGD - AVOS Bratislava; and Jiří Majer, CEO of Accace, about the latest outsourcing trends and more. 13 May 2013 Jana Liptáková More from Other
Outsourcing and personal data protection: is it always a smooth ride? ADVERTORIAL Outsourcing is an ever-popular cost-saving strategy. For a variety of reasons companies prefer contracting out to an external provider of goods/services over producing the same thing internally. Outsourcing has wide legal implications depending on the outsourcing model used. In the information world of today these models develop quickly and the provision of outsourcing services does not take into account the world geographical set up. Technological developments also bring challenges for legal regulation to respond adequately to such a continuously changing environment. This article briefly outlines how personal data protection regulation responds to technological progress in the field of outsourcing. 13 May 2013 More from Business Focus
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Quote of the Week
“Potholes in Slovak roads are neither conservative nor liberal, but they are deep and there are plenty of them!” Daniel Lipšic comments on his conservative NOVA party’s agreement with liberal former members of SaS to cooperate in the forthcoming regional elections.