Around Slovakia

European wine knighthood extended

TEN new so-called hospes (a guest of honour - hospes is the first prerequisite for acquiring a wine knight title, ed. note) of the European Wine Knighthood (EVIRS) were named at a ceremony in St Martin's Church in Bojnice on May 6.
The European Council quaestor and EU's International Organisation of Vine and Wine chairperson Astrid Lulling also attended the event, TASR news agency wrote.
To date, 120 persons have been named hospes, 12 wine councilors and two wine judges in Slovakia. This year, the first Slovaks were named as knights at the all-European EVIRS meeting.
The main aim of the EVIRS, an organization of wine connoisseurs and vintners, is to safeguard the quality of wines, and "to teach abstinence as well as how to drink wine", which they consider to be a noble drink.
Among those receiving accolades was Peter Vendelín, general director of Slovakia's leading beer producer, Topvar.

City celebrates coat of arms anniversary

A WEEK-long celebration of the Day of the City in Košice culminated with a period ceremony in front of an historical town hall on May 7.
The inhabitants of Košice, for the 12th time, commemorated the awarding of a coat-of-arms and deed by then King Louis (Ľudovít) the Great of Hungary 637 years ago.
"Through this deed the town identifies itself with the family of European and world towns. The date May 7, 1369 is therefore a day of birthday celebration for our town. It is an important ceremonial day for the extended family of people living in Košice," said Košice Mayor František Knapík in his ceremonial speech.
Later on, the recently-elected Knapík awarded nearly 30 individuals and groups the Town's Award and Mayor's Award for Development and for Spreading the Good Name of Košice.
The awards were distributed to people from all walks of social and public life - science, culture, spiritual service, production and sport.
Award-winner Anton Jura of US Steel Košice donated his financial award to an orphanage in Spišský Štiavnik.
Dozens of events took place during the celebration. The zoo opened for a new season, along with a children's railway, and a new citizens' contact point office. In addition, a student representative was appointed and the "Against Cancer on Rollerblades" campaign got underway. There were also performances by singers and dancers, and exhibitions and concerts took place throughout the week of celebrations.

Police investigating unusual boating accident

POLICE in Komárno launched an investigation into an unusual accident that occurred on May 6 at the local yacht club.
Two boats crashed into the dockyard facility in the yacht club shortly after 15:00. The boats broke away from the bank where they were anchored and crashed into the opposite side of the bank, causing damage of Sk500,000 (€13,400) to the boats facility, TASR wrote.
The owner of one of the boats filed a criminal complaint with respect to the damage to his property by an unknown person.
However, police are not sure how to proceed because to start a criminal investigation, it would first have to be determined that cause of the incident was intentional rather than an accident. Existing evidence suggests, however, that high winds caused the incident.

Army presentation closes defense fair

BRATISLAVA artist Ladislav Gajdoš puts the final touches on his "jacket" sculpture entitled The Man Got Lost, in a temporary Košice studio. The large work will be erected in the Prešov centre as part of the town's Culture Summer. This "jacket without a man" wants to point to the problems of today, when the "man" got lost due to impersonal relations. The sculptor himself tries to win back the studio the Communists confiscated from him when he emigrated.
photo: TASR

DEFENCE exposition IDEB 2006 wrapped up with a demonstration of professional army equipment, special fighting forces and military police activities in Bratislava on May 6.
The main aim of the presentation entitled Saturday with the Professional Army was to familiarise the public with the Slovak soldiers' tasks and skills.
According to preliminary data, around 17,000 people visited the first International Defence Equipment IDEB Fair, which opened in Bratislava on May 4. More than 220 exhibitors from 15 countries presented their products at the Incheba exhibition centre.
Meanwhile, a meeting of the NATO advisory group for industry and international conferences - focusing on new information technology and communication systems - was held May 4-5 at the Incheba exhibition centre in Bratislava.
The fair and accompanying events were organized by the Slovak Defence Industry Association and the Slovak Trade and Industry Chamber in co-operation with the defence, economy and foreign affairs ministries.

Commemorating murdered student

THE MURDER of student Daniel Tupý, who was stabbed by a group of still-unidentified attackers six months ago in Bratislava, and victims of fascism as a whole, were remembered by participants in an anti-Fascist gathering which took place on Bratislava's Tyršovo nábrežie, on the right bank of the Danube, on May 8.
The 21-year-old Tupý, a Comenius University philosophy student, died in November 2005 at Tyršovo, after being attacked by neo-Nazis. A half-year has passed, and police have not apprehended his killers, even though other victims survived the attack that night and have been cooperating with police, TASR wrote.
The commemorative event took place on the Day of Victory over Fascism, organized by the People against Racism (ĽPR).
According to ĽPR chairman Daniel Milo, the aim of this event is to demonstrate that although 61 years have passed since the defeat of Fascism there are still victims of Fascism today.
"There are still people who attack others, mutilate them and even kill them in the name of this ideology," said Milo. Everyone who attended the event, he said, wanted to say 'no to Fascism, hatred, and intolerance'.
"We can be of different opinions, people can play various styles of music, but our common thought here is that tolerance unites us," he said.

Tribute to WWII victims paid at Slavín

SEVERAL hundred people paid tribute to the victims of the deadliest war in the history of mankind by laying wreaths and flowers at Slavín monument in Bratislava on May 8 on the occasion of the 61st anniversary of the end of WWII.
Diplomats, local officials, and the members of the Slovak Union of Anti-fascist Fighters attended the ceremony. Around a hundred veterans also came to pay tribute to the fallen soldiers.
"It is a day which we should never forget. We cannot forget the atrocities that, several decades ago, brought suffering to millions of people," said Slovakia's Defence Minister Martin Fedor.
Parliament did not send an official delegation, while the Office of the President was represented by its Office Head, Milan Čič.
PM Mikuláš Dzurinda paid tribute to the victims of WWII by laying flowers at the memorial in Sliač in central Slovakia.
More than 50 million people are estimated to have died during the 1939-1945 WWII period.

The pram's snake rolls through Bratislava.
photo: SITA

Parents with prams enter Guinness records book

THE LARGEST-ever simul-taneous pram walk scheduled for Saturday, 13th May 2006, in Bratislava as part of the celebration of International Mother's Day aspires for an entry to the Guinness World Book of Records.
Parents pushed a total of 2,159 prams in more than 20 localities in eight countries, including Slovakia, Germany, Holland, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Bosnia, and Czech Republic as an appreciation and recognition of maternity and parenthood.
Of the total number, nearly 1,200 participated in Bratislava.
The tagline "Move a pram, move the world" accompanies this international attempt to set a new world record in the category of Pram Pushing - Mass Participation within Mother Centres International Network for Empowerment, including more than 750 Mother Centres in 15 countries all over the world. The previous record was 298 prams.
"Our organization, Mine, ( connects the Mother Centre movement to other organisations active in improving the quality of life for mothers, families and communities and in enhancing their public influence", says Monika Jaeckel, Chair of the Board of Directors.
"That's why we organised this amazing international attempt, connecting parents at the same moment for the same goal - setting a new Guinness World Record in pram pushing," she adds.
Rules of the record say that the largest simultaneous pram walk must be accurately measured and must be a minimum of one mile (1.6 km) long. The measurements must be done by two independent persons who will declare in writing how they measured and how long the route was.
All prams must be commercially available, meaning that no "home-made" prams are allowed.
Each participant must push a pram carrying a person who is safely strapped in. One person per pram is allowed.

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