Around Slovakia

THERE are several places in Slovakia where fans of historical cars annually meet. One such place is the Petrova Ves near Senica in the country's western region. On June 3, it held the 18th Záhorácka Veteran Rally and one of the participants was this unique vehicle.
photo: TASR

Drienovská Nová Ves
Railway crossing accident takes four lives

FOUR people died in an tragic accident at a railway crossing in the village of Drienovská Nová Ves in eastern Slovakia at 2:30 on May 26.
A driver of a VAZ passenger car lost control of his car, broke through railway gates and entered the crossing just as a cargo train from Prešov to Košice was passing the crossing. In addition to the driver, the train killed three passengers and seriously injured another.
Prešov police spokeswoman Magdaléna Fečová said the railway crossing was equipped with a functioning warning light system. The police are investigating the accident.
During the first four months of 2006, police in Slovakia recorded 99 accidents at railway crossings during which four people were killed, four were seriously injured and 14 were slightly injured. Property damage is estimated at almost Sk12 million (€320,000).
In 2005, accidents at railway crossings reached 388, with a death toll of 14. Twenty-one people suffered serious injuries and 85 people were injured slightly. Property damage neared Sk40 million, SITA wrote.

Illegal cigarette cargo apprehended

SLOVAK customs officials have seized over 8.2 million illegally imported cigarettes, which were found in a lorry in the town of Šamorín in the Trnava region, Andrea Zemanová from Slovak Customs Office headquarters announced on May 30.
This is the second largest find of its kind, representing customs and tax violations amounting to Sk24 million (€637,000).
According to the customs warrant, the goods were sent by an unnamed Chinese company, while the recipient was an unnamed company in Austria. The lorry was supposed to be transporting textiles, but actually contained hundreds of thousands of packets of Marlboro cigarettes instead.
"Those responsible will be prosecuted. The perpetrators are as yet unknown. It will be necessary to find the sender and the intended recipient of the aforementioned goods," said Zemanová.
The largest amount of illegally imported cigarettes - 11 million - were discovered by customs officers in February 2006. The smuggled goods represented tax and customs violations of over Sk31.7 million, TASR wrote.


MODELS of Bratislava's Blue Church and Prague's Old Town City Hall with Orloj, a medieval astronomical clock, have been added to Brussels' Mini-Europe, Belgium's most-visited theme park.
Models of both buildings were unveiled Monday, with Slovak EU Commissioner Ján Figeľ and other Slovak and Czech diplomats present.
The Blue Church and Prague's Orloj take their place among 300 other miniatures (1:25 scale) of well-known European attractions, such as the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, Mount Vesuvius, the Berlin Wall, Venetian gondolas, Brussels' Grand Palace and the Spanish cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.
Of the new EU countries, Poland, Malta, Cyprus, Estonia and Latvia have models in the park, to be joined in July by Lithuania. Around 300,000 tourists visit it each year.

Army stages Children's Day

NEARLY 2,000 people came to the local football stadium in the central Slovak town of Krupina, in the Banská Bystrica region, on May 27 to see an exhibition of special regiment training exercises, Mi-17 helicopter fly-pasts, displays of modern army technology and performances by dance and music groups.
Members of the Slovak army and Slovak Radio organized the event, called A Children's Day with the Armed Forces, a few days ahead of the regular June 1 holiday.
Defense Minister Martin Fedor, who attended the event, brought a large live red parrot from a children's home to entertain the children, who were participating in various competitions.
The event culminated with an afternoon performance by rock band Tublatanka.
This was the ninth time that this event, which takes place in a different town every year, has taken place, TASR wrote.
The aim of the event is to improve the image of the Slovak armed forces.

Bryndzové halušky championships

THE KOLIBA of St Kryštof team from the central Slovak village of Úľanka, led by cook Miroslav Nohejl, defended their title as world champions in cooking and eating bryndzové halušky in Turecká on June 3.
Second place went to a team from Liptovský Mikuláš, followed by a team from the town of Tornaľa.
Thirty-two teams took part in the competition. One Czech team takes part in it regularly every year, while a team from the Hungarian town of Békés Csaba (where a minority of ethnic Slovaks lives) - competed for the first time and ended up in 21st place, TASR wrote.
Four-member teams had to cook bryndzové halušky using two kilos of potatoes. The referee measured the time in which a team completed cooking and then eating of bryndzové halušky, Slovakia's national dish made of potato dumplings and sheep cheese.

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