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Slovakia
More shopping centres projected in regional capitals

THE IMPROVEMENTS in living standards currently being experienced in Slovakia is attracting more and more new shopping centres to Slovak towns and cities.
According to a survey recently carried out by the Pravda daily, at least 10 more shopping centres - worth a total of around Sk30 billion (€823 million) - will have appeared in Slovakia's eight regional capitals by 2010.
"Along with the shopping centres, dozens of hypermarkets and discount stores are also expected to spring up, although they will be smaller in size. This will help Slovakia catch up with Western Europe in terms of retail space per capita," Trend market research agency analyst Ľubomír Drahovský told the daily.
According to Drahovský, the current ratio in Slovakia is around 0.75 square meters of retail space per person, but in four years time this ratio is expected to reach nearly one square meter per person.
At the moment, there are some 130 hypermarkets and almost 20 large shopping centres around the country. However, the latest GfK agency survey showed that around 25 percent of respondents (mainly single people aged up to 24 and mainly from Bratislava region) think that this is still not enough, and that even more shopping centres are needed.


Nitra, Zvolen
US ambassador visits universities in Zvolen and Nitra

THE US ambassador to Slovakia, Rodolphe Vallee, visited Zvolen's Technical University and Nitra's Slovak Agricultural University on October 30.
At a meeting with journalists, he emphasised the need for research into renewable energy sources and ways of utilising them.
"I met skilled scientists at both universities dealing with the possibilities of renewable sources of energy. This subject is being studied in strategic courses at US universities as well. Co-operation is vital and the results could be useful not only for the USA and Slovakia but also for other countries," Vallee said.
The Technical University in Zvolen focuses on the use of biomass in the wood-processing industry. The Agricultural University in Nitra is working on developing alternative energy sources from fast-growing wood.
Vallee promised to help the universities' representatives establish relationships with American research centres, universities, and companies that have experience working with biomass and alternative sources of energy.


Bratislava
Student's Murder Commemorated in Bratislava

Remembering Daniel Tupý, the student who was murdered one year ago.
photo: Sme - Mirka Cibulková

A SPECIAL ceremony took place on Tyršovo Embankment in Bratislava on November 4 to mark the anniversary of the death of student Daniel Tupý, who was murdered exactly one year ago, allegedly by neo-Nazis.
Among those attending the ceremony were Tupý's relatives and friends, Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák, and the poet Daniel Hevier, who was one of the student's university lecturers.
Meanwhile, the police have rejected media speculation that Tupý may have been murdered by people from the criminal underworld. "The police are working on the assumption that Tupý was killed by neo-Nazis," said Kaliňák, who met with the student's parents earlier in the day to update them on the investigation's progress.
Kaliňák said that the investigation is complicated, partly because the murder was random. "Daniel and his friends were in the wrong place at the wrong time. The police have been making progress during this past year and the culprits shouldn't feel safe," he said, adding that he wants this type of murder to be impossible in the future.

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