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High Tatras
Ski Season in the High Tatras Starts Early

Skiing instructor Juraj Sekera.
photo: TASR

SEVERAL ski resorts in the High Tatras opened for the season on Saturday, November 11. This is a record start for the ski season not only in the High Tatras, but in the entire country, the Sme daily wrote.
One of the first resorts to open was Štrbské Pleso. According to Peter Chudý, head of the High Tatras Association for Tourism, the previous record for the earliest launch of the ski season was November 16, 2002. "It was a record-breaking season that lasted 175 days from November 16, 2002 to May 9, 2003," Chudý reported.
However, most Slovak ski resorts are not planning to open for the season until the beginning of December due to snow conditions that are poorer than the High Tatras. "It all depends on the weather. But it does seem the ski season will start earlier than usual this year," Chudý said.

Nervousness grows at non-state schools

PRIVATE and church schools, non-state-owned nurseries, and art schools are increasingly worried that they will have to close down. It's very likely that local governments will not have enough money to keep them open, the Hospodárske Noviny daily wrote. Non-state schools, including private ones, are still partly financed by the state.
The Finance Ministry, according to its spokesman Martin Šmál, wants to allocate only Sk388 million (€10.78 million) to local authorities for the support of such institutions in 2007. Private and church schools, nurseries, and art schools will be the full responsibility of local authorities as of January next year.
Town and village representatives, however, are asking for Sk580 million, the amount that schools have been receiving from the Education Ministry up to now.
According to Gabriel Rovňák of the Association of Private School Employees, it is not only those who run the schools who are getting worried, but also the teachers. Rovňák says that it would be better for non-state schools if they remained under the supervision of the Education Ministry and not local governments.
The transfer of responsibility for non-state schools to local authorities has been prepared by the Education Ministry, and the amendment in question is currently going through its second reading in parliament.

Slovaks and Hungarians discuss their common history

A GROUP of Slovak and Hungarian historians opened a three-day conference in Košice on November 8, where they discussed both nations' regional and national identities that come from their shared history and experiences from the 18th-20th centuries.
"It's aimed at discussing mutual relations, tolerance... a perspective on our joint history where there is often divergence," said Štefan Šutaj, who co-chairs the Joint Commission of Slovak and Hungarian Historians.
The event, part of the cross-border cooperation project Interreg, was co-organized by both countries' Academies of Science.
A conference journal will publish the scholars' contributions and should help people see their common history from new perspective and inspire further discussions about this region's history.

KIA cee'd unveiled at car show on ice in Košice's Steel Arena

THE KIA cee'd, manufactured in Kia's new plant near Žilina, was unveiled at a car show on ice November 7 at Košice's Steel Arena.
Sixty-five cars, 36 motorcycles, and three rally cars were also on show, according to Róbert Šalata of the Košice-based Bocatius agency, the event's organizer.
Concerning the show's unique venue, Šalata said that it was the only appropriate place in town and that Bocatius has taken advantage of a gap in the ice-hockey schedule.
A special ice carpet covering some 1,800 square metres was laid down under the exhibited cars. The carpet prevents the penetration of cold air and can hold the weight of the cars.
Visitors were also able to admire the Citroen C4 Picasso, recently debuted in Paris, and the latest models produced by Mercedes, Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, Nissan, Škoda, Iveco, and others.
Motorcycle fans had the chance to see the Aprilia Pegaso 650 and the new model of enduro, Rieju MRX 125, along with Honda's large exhibition of motorcycles. In the scooters category, the Keeway Flash (under 50 cm3) and the Keeway Outlook (under 150 cm3) had their Slovak premiere at Autosalon Košice 2006, which opened November 7 and ran until November 9.

Police find Polish woman missing for three years

A 56-YEAR-OLD Polish woman, who had been on Interpol's missing-persons list for three years, has been found by town police in the town of Zvolen, close to Banská Bystrica, during the inspection of a heating conduit pipe.
The inspection of sites where homeless people were known to be living had been requested by a heating company.
"We carried out a night-time inspection and found 26 people sleeping in the pipes," the head of Zvolen town police, Juraj Družbacký, told TASR on November 7.
The woman has already been taken back to Poland by her relatives and representatives of a Polish organization that attempts to find missing people.

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