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President honours 20 Slovaks

TO MARK the Slovak day of independence on January 1, Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič awarded 20 personalities from social, cultural and political life high state awards, the Pravda daily reported.

The Pribina Cross First Class went to actor Leopold Haverl, Roman Catholic priest Svetoslav Veigl, Eva Siracká, an activist in fighting cancer, and Karol Plank, a lawyer who participated in the preparation of the Slovak Constitution was given the award posthumously.

The president awarded The Pribina Cross Second Class to actress Adela Gáborová, Branislav Lichardus - rector of University of Management in Trenčín, hydrologist Igor Mucha, playwright and actor Stanislav Štepka, cardio-surgeon Ivan Šimkovič, and Emil Matejíček who received the Pribina Cross Second Class for the development of surgery.

The Pribina Cross Third Class was given to Milena Cesnaková-Michalcová for literature development, Matyás Dráfi for his work in the field of theatre, and historian Jozef Novák.

Soldiers Ľudovít Kaliský and Michal Oravec, police officers Ivan Sihelský, rehabilitated Major-General Ondrej Šedivý, military pilot Teodor Šlajchart, police officer Juraj Štaudinger and Otto Wagner, who was persecuted for racial reasons, received the Milan Rastislav Štefánik's Cross of Third Class for saving human lives.

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