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Korňa
Oil well will not proceed

The composition of the crude oil from this natural spring is rare within Europe.
photo: Sme - Ján krošlák

THE LATEST exploratory well close to a natural crude oil spring in Korňa, in the Kysuce area in the northern Žilina region, will not become an oil extraction site.
In the past, some tons of crude oil were extracted here, but the latest geological survey has not confirmed significant deposits of crude oil or natural gas. The experts dug the 1,300-metre-deep well about 200 metres from the natural oil spring.
"It showed that the production would not be worthwhile and thus the supplier has decided to close the well," Korňa Mayor Jozef Kontrík told the Sme daily.
In spite of this, the natural crude oil spring in Korňa remains a rarity not only in Slovakia, but also in all of Europe.
The local crude oil has an extraordinary composition. It cannot be used as motor fuel, but the pharmaceutical industry has found it useful.
"The analysis showed that this is a high quality paraffinic crude oil," Kontrík said. "This kind of oil is known for its high oil content, with only a small amount of aromatic hydrocarbons and pitch."


Slovakia
Slovakia places 36th in quality of life survey

SLOVAKIA has been ranked 36th out of a list of 193 countries in a recent quality of life survey. The survey, carried out by Irish-based International Living magazine, also showed that Slovakia lost points compared to other countries mainly due to problems in the economy and a lack of infrastructure, the Nový Čas daily wrote on

This body paint by Zuzana Javorková won the Body Art Championship of Slovakia, which took place as part of the 15th Beauty Forum Slovakia cosmetics fair in Trenčín between March 15 and 17.
photo: TASR

March 13. Slovakia placed well in the environment and security categories.
According to F.A. Hayek Foundation analyst Martin Chren, the country's prosperity depends above all on economic freedom. The more freedom people have to make decisions about their lives and property with a well-functioning judicial system and government, the higher their living standards will be.
Compared with the Czech Republic, which finished in 27th place, Slovakia had better results in the economy and environment. On the other hand, it is lagging behind in culture and infrastructure. Austria, which was 15th, beat Slovakia in the economy and health categories. Poland, which got 44th place, lags behind Slovakia in economic results and infrastructure. In contrast, it has lower costs of living. Hungary, in 26th place, overtook Slovakia due to its achievements in culture, health and security.
Out of Visegrad group countries (Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia), Slovakia is the best place to do business. In the world chart it finished at the 36th position in this category, according to the World Bank report Doing Business 2007.


Slovakia
Thousands of Slovaks commute to work abroad

SOME 27,000 Slovaks commute to work abroad every day, the Pravda daily wrote on March 17. Among the countries where most Slovaks work are the neighbouring Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria. Slovaks from regions close to the borders commute for better pay, or because they were not able to find jobs in Slovakia.
Most cross-border commuters from Kysuce area in the northern Žilina region work in the Czech Republic, while those from southern Slovakia are usually employed by northern Hungarian firms. In Austria, most Slovaks work in the fields of crafts, healthcare, banking and nursing.
Some regions in Slovakia where a lot of people commute abroad are now suffering from a lack of labour and local entrepreneurs are trying to lure people back.
Citizens of Slovakia who work abroad are, in effect, now earning less due to the current firming of the Slovak crown.


Slovakia
Unseasonably nice weather brought more fires

SLOVAK firefighters recorded a steep increase in the number of fires during the first half of March. They attribute this to unseasonably dry and sunny weather.
"During the week of March 5 to 11 alone there were 458 fires, which was more than during all of February," the president of the Fire-brigade and Emergency Corps, Jozef Paluš, told the TASR news wire.
There were more than 700 more fires by mid-March this year than there were at the same time last year. Damages were almost Sk20 million higher and amounted to Sk165 million. Firefighters have recorded 1,972 fires since January.
Paluš mentioned a rare forest fire in Slovenský Raj (Slovak Paradise) National Park on January 1, attributed to the dry weather. Firefighters had never before recorded such a large wildfire in January.
The burning of old grass and dry bushes is the most common cause of fires.


Banská Bystrica
Seven lampposts stolen

AN UNKNOWN culprit has stolen seven lampposts from the unfinished road between Sládkovičova Street to Pršianska Terrace in Banská Bystrica. Another two streetlights were damaged.
The theft has cost the town more than Sk170,000. Police are still searching for the suspect and the lampposts, a spokesperson of the Banská Bystrica Regional Police Corps, Mária Faltániová, told the TASR news wire on March 14.


Košice
Nearly six kilo infant born in Košice

A HOSPITAL in Košice has delivered the heaviest infant born in this eastern regional capital in the past 20 years, doctors said on March 15.
The baby boy was born March 12, weighing 5.88 kg and measuring 56 cm in length.
"It is a healthy boy, delivered by Caesarean section. The mother's first child was big, but not as big as this one," the chief obstetrician at L. Pasteur Hospital, Vladimír Kraus, told the TASR news wire.
Birth by C-section was necessary to prevent the trauma that could have occurred with a natural delivery. The delivery was problem-free and the mother is slowly recuperating.
The mother, Sylvia Sabolová, is calm because big children are not rare in her family.
"My husband had reckoned on it being this big. We were ready, seeing how big our first daughter was," said the delighted mum.
"I don't remember a 5.5 kg-plus boy being born at our hospital in the past 20 years," said Jaroslava Capová, head of the maternity ward.


Bratislava
Manicure scissors used as weapon

A BRATISLAVAN attacked a police officer using a curious instrument - manicure scissors.
On the night of March 11, a police patrol wanted to check a man in Bratislava's Petržalka suburb, but he resisted, and tried to escape. After 150 metres, the police caught the 51-year-old. He did not cooperate with the patrol and attacked one police officer, trying to stab him in the chest with manicure scissors. The officers kicked the scissors out of his hand. The attacker then proceeded to bite an officer's finger.
The Bratislavan ended up at the police station for assault The police found four doses of an unknown substance and two syringes on him. Criminal experts will examine the detained materials, Dáša Kollárová from the Regional Directorate of the Police Corps in Bratislava told the TASR news wire.


Bratislava
People help toads

These Bratislava children enjoy picking up toads and taking them to the pond.
photo: Sme - Pavol Funtál

ABOUT 120 volunteers helped environmentalists build foil barriers to stop migrating toads from reaching the road running through the Železná Studienka recreation area in Bratislava on March 16 and 17.
Thousands of toads migrate every year from nearby forests into ponds to reproduce.
"We built foil barriers in the most critical places, which were close to the ponds and the road," the main coordinator of the project, Blanka Lehotská, told the SITA news wire.
The second part of the project, carrying toads across the road into the ponds, might start within next two weeks. "Toads start to migrate when the temperature climbs to 8 to 10 degrees Celsius overnight. We have already found about 20 live, hardy toads, but we have also found some toads crushed by cars," said Lehotská.
The environmentalists estimate that they will help between 6,000 and 10,000 toads this year. The project was organized by the Slovak Association of Protectors of Nature and Country, and the Miniopterus organization. This is the 22nd time the project has been organised since 1986. In the past, thousands of toads were run over by cars every year.

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