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Politics & Society

Slovak wines of the year named Locked THE EASIEST way to taste the best Slovak wines is to visit the Slovak National Collection of Wines, either in Pezinok or Bratislava. Here visitors can taste from the 100 best Slovak wines selected annually by wine experts for the given year. In late June the ninth collection of wines was chosen. 21 Jul 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Faulty engine forced plane of Defence Minister to turn back News in short Locked JUST 20 minutes after take-off from Bratislava Airport, an aircraft carrying Defence Minister Martin Glváč to Paris had to make an emergency landing on July 14 because of an error of the fuel regulation system. The incident has sparked a debate about renewing the government’s air fleet. 21 Jul 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Atlas of Roma Communities is completed News in short Locked THE NEW Atlas of Roma Communities shows there are 14 Roma settlements in Slovakia in conditions similar to the Middle Ages, lacking access to water, sewers, electricity or gas. 21 Jul 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Smer moves to insert water protection into constitution KDH considers support in exchange for ban on holding two state jobs THE RULING Smer party is serious about its plan to add a ban on exporting water into the country’s constitution, a move which came in response to a populist outcry over new rules regulating the sale of Slovak water abroad which are being discussed by lawmakers. The Environment Ministry has already sent the draft to an interdepartmental review, opening it up to comments. 21 Jul 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Conservatives push referendum Petition on protection of family goes further than recent constitution amendment THE CONSTITUTIONAL definition of marriage, which some gay-right-advocates openly called a ban on same-sex marriages, does not go far enough, some conservative activists say, as they gather signatures to force a referendum that would make the laws even stronger. 21 Jul 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Emerging parties’ financing in spotlight Locked LOCAL media have recently drawn attention to the financing of new non-parliamentary political parties, which must make ends meet without contributions from the state, unlike the parties represented in parliament, as well as those which won 3 percent or more of the vote in the parliamentary election. This comes in light of concerns raised over the financing of unsuccessful presidential candidate Radoslav Procházka, and the subsequent financing of his new party, Sieť. 21 Jul 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Kiska to be cautious with judges Locked FROM now on, candidates approved by the Judicial Council, the top body overseeing the operation of the judiciary in Slovakia, might not be appointed automatically. President Andrej Kiska will first look into their background, the Sme daily suggests. The Judicial Council has already sent Kiska a list of eight judges who are now awaiting their appointment. 21 Jul 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Project to back whistleblowers launched CORRUPTION robs Slovak taxpayers of approximately €1 billion annually, a sum that could finance 20 new hospitals equipped with top technology, 10,000 new playgrounds or a flat hike in the salaries for teachers and nurses by €200, according to businessmen Miroslav Trnka and Michal Bláha, founders of the Let’s Stop Corruption foundation. 21 Jul 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Quality of democracy slightly up as Kiska takes office IVO Barometer criticises constitutional amendment and Bonanno case THE INAUGURATION of President Andrej Kiska and his subsequent activities in the presidential post have helped to slightly increase the quality of democracy in Slovakia, according to an index produced by the Institute for Public Affairs (IVO). 21 Jul 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Tackling youth joblessness among Italy’s priorities A PERIOD of deep transition and multiple challenges: this is how Italy describes the conditions under which it took on its 11th presidency of the European Union from Greece on July 1. During the following six months the country will focus mostly on pursuing a job-friendly Europe and economic growth; improving the EU as an area of democracy, rights and freedoms; and the re-assessment of the global role of the EU in the international realm, with particular regard to ongoing international crises. 15 Jul 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Court rules Fico need not apologise News in short PRIME Minister Robert Fico does not have to apologise to his predecessor Iveta Radičová as yet – since the court failed to deliver him a summons properly. 14 Jul 2014 The Slovak Spectator
FPA files motions in emission case News in short THE FAIR-Play Alliance (FPA) ethics watchdog has filed a criminal complaint over the murky 2008 sale of carbon dioxide emission quotas in which Slovakia is estimated to have lost out on more than €47 million. It claims that the General Prosecutor’s Office is ignoring information from Swiss authorities about a former Environment Ministry employee who allegedly earned money on the sale. The prosecutor stopped the investigation of the case in early June, claiming that the sale did not constitute a crime. 14 Jul 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Success based on alliances IVO president talks shifting political strategies, loyalties IN ORDER to present a competitive alternative to Smer, centre-right forces need to make sure that even the parties whose voters’ support has dropped down to the 5-percent threshold will make it into parliament, because only a strong coalition of centre-right parties stands a chance of competing with Smer in the 2016 elections, Grigorij Mesežnikov, president of the non-governmental think tank Institute for Public Affairs (IVO), says in an interview with The Slovak Spectator. 14 Jul 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Centre-right continues to dissolve But there is no chance to succeed against Smer without cooperation, observers say “FRAGMENTED” is not just a buzzword when talking about the centre-right forces on the Slovak political scene. For right-wing parties, disintegration is a reality. 14 Jul 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Harabin's shuffling haunts judiciary BACK IN 2009, then supreme court president Štefan Harabin changed the composition of a Supreme Court senate which looked into complaints against the decisions of ministries and state offices. The Constitutional Court recently ruled that his decision violated the right of railway freight carrier Cargo to a randomly selected judge, the Sme daily reported, suggesting that the senate’s rulings are now vulnerable to further challenges. 14 Jul 2014 The Slovak Spectator
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Quote of the Week
“I was joking when saying that I did not order a sightseeing flight, but we were flying to Paris.” Defence Minister Martin Glváč commented on his emergency landing after the pilot noted problems with one of the plane’s engines and made several circles above the town of Pezinok before returning back to the Bratislava airport.