Bulgarian culture days
A CONCERT given by the Cellissimo quartet on November 20 concluded the Days of Bulgarian Culture in Slovakia festival, which began on November 13.
Cultural events have been taking place throughout Slovakia as a follow-up to last year's Days of Slovak Culture in Bulgaria. According to the Bulgarian Culture Institute (BKI) director, Elena Arnaudova, both events were organized partly thanks to co-operation between the Bulgarian and Slovak culture ministries.
"The Bulgarian Culture Institute is celebrating the 35th anniversary of its founding in Bratislava. And we dedicated the Days of Bulgarian Culture partly to Bulgaria's upcoming accession to the European Union," Arnaudova told TASR.
"I hope that we'll be able to celebrate Bulgaria's accession to the EU in January together," she added.
"We began with a performance in the P.O. Hviezdoslav Theatre that Bulgarian Culture Minister Stefan Danailov opened personally," said the BKI director.
BKI will continue to organize cultural events in Slovakia. For example, an exhibition of paintings will be opened in the National Culture Centre in Bratislava in early December.
Charity fashion show features 10 European designers
Fashion designers presented their latest outfits at the fashion show.
Designers from France, Spain, Italy and Belarus joined Slovakia's Veronika Hložníková. Each designer presented 10-20 outfits at the show, which was held to help raise money for cancer treatment and care facilities and also to help support the families of cancer patients.
"This is the first time that the Slovak public has been able to see such a large fashion show. I want to thank all those who took part and those who understood the situation and paid the admission in support of a good cause," the event organizer, Daniela Kralevich, told TASR.
The Slovak pop band Desmond, singers Sisa Sklovská, Jolana Fogášová, Peter Dvorský, and Czech artists Daniel Hůlka and Peter Muk all performed at the show. Painter Vladimír Kadera donated a painting for a charity auction.
Kralevich plans to organize a similar event next year. "I believe that next year the show will be even better, because I'll avoid all the mistakes I made (this time)," she said.
Tourists return while development lags
TWO years after a windstorm swept through the High Tatras, destroying large areas of forest, local hotels and guesthouses are again registering increasing numbers of tourists.
The summer season of 2006 was the most successful one this year, with the High Tatras seeing 20 percent more visitors than in the two summer seasons before the disaster occurred.
However, the reconstruction and development of services and facilities has not yet begun, the Pravda daily wrote.
Businessmen pushing for new investment plans have hit a brick wall, because the new zoning system - which will decide where and to what extent investors can build new facilities - is still to be completed.
After two years of discussion, the management of The High Tatras National Park has still not decided on how much of the park should be included in Zone A, where public access will be completely forbidden.
The Environment Ministry proposes that Zone A should make up 57 percent of the park's territory, while Agriculture Minister Miroslav Jureňa believes that this zone should only cover 39 percent.
Giant Tatras postcard
Conservationists want forests protected.
"We want the zoning of The High Tatras National Park to be adopted as soon as possible, and that's why we want the Government to resolve issues with the owners of private forests, especially when it comes to financial compensation," said Ján Dobšovič from the Our Tatras NGO.
The postcard was signed by the conservationists, who met last weekend near Poprad in the village of Podbanské, to mark the second anniversary of a windstorm that felled large areas of the forest in the High Tatras.
As many as 400 activists from over 15 environmental organizations came to express their support for the protection of one of Slovakia's national symbols.
According to Our Tatras, the issue of privately owned forests could be resolved via purchases, exchanges of land, or permanent land-rentals. The conservationists regard land exchanges as the most economical option for the state. According to them, the zoning plan prepared by the management of TANAP along with related measures, such as agreements on compensation for property damage for private owners, will provide a coherent solution.
The zoning plan will divide the national park into several areas, each with a different level of protection against building and development.