Around Slovakia

UNDP conference focuses on employing Roma

THE LIVING conditions of the Roma could improve mainly through their access to the labour market and through the support of policies that will enable them to work either through a form of protected employment or self-employment.
This was one of the ideas discussed at the 'Employing Roma - Obstacles and New Approaches' conference in Košice on October 25.
The event was organized within the framework of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in co-operation with the Košice region and Friedrich Ebert's Foundation.
There were more than 100 participants, including representatives of the state, the country's regions, the academic community, non-governmental organizations and the business sphere. The main topics discussed involved the experiences and expectations of employers and the private sector with regard to employing disadvantaged groups of Roma. One of the possibilities mentioned was the creation of inter-market and sustainable social undertakings while integrating the long-term unemployed into the labour market, as well as helping disadvantaged groups of Roma to integrate with the support of micro loans and self-employment.
A UNDP report on Roma households' living conditions was also presented at the conference.
The UNDP specialist for social integration, Daniel Škobla, told TASR that 720 Roma families took part in their research last summer.
The report indicated that, compared to the non-Roma population, Roma families have worse results for almost all indicators. The worst situation is seen in segregated Roma villages.
The research report also showed that there is a high rate of dependence on social allowances in the Roma community, where three-quarters of households had an income level placing them in a state of material need.
It also emerged that Roma make insufficient use of the support available to them to relieve their material need. For example, a low percentage of Roma households have been receiving housing support, added Škobla.
UNDP is a UN global development agency that provides strategic consultation and helps build up institutional and human capacities to support permanently sustainable development.

Romania presents plane to museum

A CEREMONIAL signing of the protocol presenting an IAR-93 aeroplane to Slovakia's Technical Museum in Košice took place in Bucharest on October 23.
Slovakia's Foreign Affairs Ministry told TASR that the plane was presented to the museum by Romania's Government and that the ceremony was attended by Romania's Defense Ministry's State Secretary, Corneliu Dobritoiu, Chief of the Staff of Air Forces, Lieutenant General Gheorghe Catrina, and Colonel Paul Sandachi, head of the Military Museum of Aviation in Bucharest.
Slovakia was represented at the event by Ján Šoth, its Ambassador to Bucharest, director of the Slovak Technical Museum, Eugen Labanič, and Lieutenant Colonel Ľuboš Salák, Slovakia's military attaché to Bucharest.

Human factor confirmed as most likely cause of plane crash

THE MOST likely cause of the January 19 air crash of the AN-24 military special was human error, as the flight crew were not flying on instruments but rather relying on manual control, the heads of Slovakia's military reported on October 25.
Analysis of the remains of the plane did not indicate any technical failure. Before the tragedy, the crew had not faced any crisis, and the plane had begun a smooth descent, reported Defence Minister František Kašický at a press conference in Bratislava.
Earlier on October 25, the cabinet reviewed and acknowledged the investigation report concerning the most disastrous military aircraft tragedy in modern Slovakia's history, in which 42 Slovak military personnel returning from Kosovo died. The plane crashed near the Hungarian village of Hejce, which lies close to the Slovak border, and the only survivor was First Lieutenant Martin Farkaš, who has now returned to duty.
The investigation was carried out by a commission of 25 experts led by the Chief of the Slovak Armed Forces General Staff, Ľubomír Bulík. Several weeks ago there were reports given in line with the findings that were announced on Wednesday, which are official but do not rule out the possibility of further evidence that could cause the commission to issue a more definitive report later.

Rimavská Sobota/Bratislava
Bratislava and Košice region separated by abyss

THE UNEMPLOYMENT rate in Bratislava - the lowest in the country - is around 10 times lower than that in Rimavská Sobota in south-central Slovakia. The town suffers the highest joblessness rate in Slovakia with around 30 percent unemployed. According to the Pravda daily, the Rimavská Sobota district has some 100 unfilled job vacancies at present, but these are mainly positions in small firms that are only offering the minimum wage of Sk7,600 (€208) a month, explained the head of Rimavská Sobota's labor office, Alexander Pataky.
Meanwhile, there are estimated to be 300-400 jobs available in the industrial zone between Bratislava and Malacky alone, with most manufacturers offering their blue-collar workers an initial monthly wage of Sk13,000-Sk15,000, with Volkswagen offering as much as Sk16,000.

Founding of Czechoslovakia celebrated by few

ON OCTOBER 28, just about 150 people, mostly elderly, gathered on the Danube's Vajanského Embankment in Bratislava to celebrate the 88th anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia, which split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia on January 1, 1993.
Representatives of the Czech Embassy to Slovakia, the non-parliamentary Civic Conservative Party (OKS), and the civic association Czech-Slovak Bridges laid flowers at a memorial on the Vajanského Embankment. During the ceremony it was announced that a part of the embankment may be renamed 'Masarykovo', after the first Czechoslovak president, Tomáš Garrique Masaryk.
"October 28th is the most important holiday in the history of the Czech Republic - the date of the founding of the state that virtually shepherded both nations throughout the 20th century. It ensured their self-determination", said the Czech ambassador to Slovakia, Vladimir Galuška, after the ceremony.

Nitra Region has the most EU funded projects

ACCORDING to information provided on October 16 by the Ministry of Construction and Regional Development on projects in Slovakia co-financed by EU structural funds, the Nitra Region has the most EU co-funded projects underway. As many as 560 projects, totalling Sk7.2 billion, are currently being worked on.
Out of these, 358 projects have the support of agriculture and rural development as their main objective.
Projects in the Banská Bystrica Region, though only numbering 436, reported the highest costs at Sk11.4 billion. Nearly Sk7.1 billion of this is for projects related to the Basic Infrastructure development programme, according to SITA.
The Trenčín Region reported the lowest number of projects at just 217.

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