Around Slovakia

Survey confirms sex discrimination on job market

ACCORDING to a recent survey published by the Slovak Academy of Sciences' sociology department and the European Roma Labour Agency, sex discrimination on the labour market and in other areas of social life is still a problem in Slovakia.
The survey was carried out on a sample of 2,500 respondents as part of a European Social Fund programme.
"People in Slovakia can encounter sex discrimination in many areas of life. We focused on discrimination at the workplace, in terms of salaries and during recruitment. Women, along with the middle-aged and the disabled, have problems finding jobs," said project expert Zuzana Kumanová.
Women who are particularly vulnerable to discrimination include new graduates, those wanting to return to work after having a child, and those over 40 years of age.
"This is a new and surprising result. Only recently it was people over 50 who had problems finding jobs. This threshold has since fallen dramatically," Kumanová added.
The survey also showed that members of the Roma community continue to have problems when trying to find work.
The survey organisers have sent their findings to state and local authorities, as well as to non-governmental organisations, along with their recommendations on how to tackle the problems found.

Aquapark in the black

AQUAPARK Poprad, the company that runs the popular Aquapark tourist centre, made it into the black in 2005. While it closed 2004 with a loss of Sk32.2 million, at the end of 2005 it finished with a net profit of Sk5.1 million, company officials have reported.
The company is majority owned by a British company - Letheby & Sons Limited - that has an 85 percent stake in Aquapark Poprad.
The remaining stake is owned by the town of Poprad.

Three Slovaks receive Tatra Banka Foundation awards

THREE Slovak artists were awarded glass pyramids and Sk150,000 (€4,210) at the 2006 Tatra Banka Foundation Artists Awards ceremony in the Slovak National Theatre's Opera House on November 25.
The nine-member jury recognised Viliam Klimáček (of the alternative theatre, GUnaGU) for literature, trumpet player Juraj Bartoš for interpretative performance, and singer Katka Knechtová for her extraordinarily creative work.
Knechtová, however, was not able to attend the event as she was on tour at the time with the Czech band Křyštof.
The jury also presented a special posthumous award to surrealist Karol Baron.

First ladies talk cooperation

FIRST ladies Silvia Gasparovičová of Slovakia and Lívia Klausová of the Czech Republic discussed the possibility of cooperating on the various education and charity projects that they lead. They met during the Czech visit to Bratislava on November 28.
Gašparovičová said that such meetings are a source of inspiration and experience for both countries. "There are many possibilities for co-operation. I'd be glad to welcome ideas from the Czech Republic and I hope that the relationship will be mutual," said Gašparovičová.
She expressed her desire that the Czech Republic might participate in the Silvia Gašparovičová Foundation's project, 'Education and Health for Everyone'. The Slovak project is working to set up academies, some of which are already active and have proven to be popular in Italy and Austria.
"We have met to tell each other what's happening in Slovakia and the Czech Republic regarding the first ladies and their foundations, foundation funds, and their charitable activities," said Klausová. She said that they both have foundations working in the same field, i.e. education, but to speak about specific joint projects is premature.
Klausová is engaged in the support of education within the framework of the 'Foundation Fund of Lívia and Václav Klaus', which works to support disadvantaged people such as those who are socially or physically handicapped.
Libuša Schmidová, the Czech first lady's secretary, thinks that there is scope for co-operation, and mentioned that the first ladies began to explore the possibilities when they met at the Visegrad Four presidents' summit in Prague earlier this year.
The Slovak foundation's vice-president Elvíra Chadimová pointed out that both funds support socially handicapped people and both are aimed at fully integrating these people into society. Therefore, joint efforts could be focused on supporting educational activities through stipends or student exchanges.

Government to compensate those blacklisted by the Communists

THE RULING coalition is expected to introduce a bill on the compensation of people who were blacklisted by the former Communist regime and lost their jobs for criticizing the Soviet-led invasion of the former Czechoslovakia in 1968, the Sme daily wrote on November 27.
A group of Smer MPs led by Darina Gabániová plan to submit a new bill to the parliament that proposes giving those who were blacklisted a compensation of Sk90,000 (€2,500), or Sk45,000 to their family, if the victim is deceased.
The list includes more than 300 people, including the leader of the co-ruling HZDS party, Vladimír Mečiar, and the opposition's ethnically Hungarian SMK party MP Miklós Duray.

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