Around Slovakia

Mushroom picker Milan Hertl proudly displays his catch, a giant summer cep.
photo: TASR

Mushroom season begins

THE MUSHROOM-picking season has begun in Slovakia, and mushroom picker Milan Hertl from Svinná, close to the western-Slovak town of Trenčín, has already picked a giant summer cep (also known as a porcini). He found the mushroom in the forests above Bánovce nad Bebravou on June 15. Pezinok

Bratislava tram taken on joyride

POLICE are still searching for the person who broke into a parked No. 4 tram and took it for a 3-km joyride on June 17, the Nový Čas daily wrote. The suspect fled after transportation officials cut off the tram's power, causing it to grind to a halt.
The incident occurred while the tram was parked at the Zlaté Piesky tram terminal. At around 18:00, someone broke into it and drove almost as far as the Polus City Centre shopping mall on Vajnorská Street, without stopping at any of the stations along the way.
The tram's driver, Ivan Pätoprstý, 41, was taking a 20-minute break before starting on his usual route to the Karlova Ves district when the incident happened. "I just went to the bathroom and when I got back, my tram was gone!" he told the daily. "I was shocked. We immediately radioed dispatch about what had happened."
In his 14 years of being a tram driver, Pätoprstý said he does not remember seeing anything like this.
Nor does Bratislava regional police chief Pavel Brath, except an event 10 years ago, in which a group of young boys took a bus on a joyride through the city centre.
If found, the perpetrator could be sentenced to three to eight years in jail.

Marquee to deal with overflow at Bratislava airport

THE BRATISLAVA airport has decided to deal with the space problems that come with the influx of summer tourists by erecting a marquee next to its main building, the Nový Čas daily wrote on June 18.
The airport currently lacks the funds needed for the expansion that was planned before the Robert Fico government terminated its sale last October to the TwoOne consortium, which is made up of the Vienna airport and private equity groups Penta and Austrian Raiffeisen Zentralbank.
Because the Slovak Transportation Ministry continues to claim that the airport is of strategic importance and should remain a state asset, holiday travellers will have to make do with the provisional services provided in the tent.
"The Bratislava airport chose this solution in order to satisfy travel agencies and tour operators," airport spokeswoman Zora Kalousková told the daily.
The current airport hall lacked sufficient space for the number of passengers coming through it. "Passengers on regular flights would get mixed up with those on charter flights," said Kalousková, who added that airports in other countries have dealt with this issue in a similar fashion.

Civil servants overestimate computer skills

MANY civil servants are using their office computers ineffectively - as nothing more than expensive typewriters, the Sme daily wrote on June 12.
According to a report by the Finance Ministry entitled Digital Literacy in the State Administration Report, which the Slovak cabinet discussed on June 20, most ministry civil servants overestimate their computer skills.
The report assessed their knowledge of basic theoretical terms, computer administration, working with text, creating tables and graphs, and using the internet.
According to the clerks' self-assessment, most of the staff at the Culture Ministry consider themselves to be computer literate (79 percent), while only 46 percent at the Construction and Regional Development Ministry are satisfied with their computer skills.
The actual results showed that when it comes to their knowledge of Microsoft Word, the staff at the Construction and Regional Development Ministry scored highest, and those at the Interior Ministry scored lowest. As for using Microsoft Excel, Education Ministry staff was found to be at the top, while the Construction Ministry was at the bottom. The staff at the agriculture, labour and education ministries seem to have gotten the hang of the internet, while those at the interior and health ministries are having the most problems with it.

Historical fighter lands in Poprad for air show

This historical fighter plane has arrived in Poprad for the Aero-Moto show.
photo: SITA

THE C-11, a historical fighter plane made in 1955, has already landed in Poprad as part of the 9th Aero-Moto air show, which takes place in the city from June 23 to 24. The airplane has a maximum speed of 600 km/h, and is unique, as it is one of only a few of its kind in the world that are still operational.
"It is a beauty that is on display at the Prague Air Museum," Roman Klouda from Aeroklub Poprad told the TASR news wire on June 17. "We wanted to show it here last year, but the weather didn't cooperate, so we made sure to have it this year. It arrived a little early, so it will wait in the hangar. People will see it during its 15-minute flights on Saturday and Sunday."
As well as historical fighters, aerial acrobatics performed with gliders and engine-propelled planes will be the highlights of the air show.

Potters gather for pottery and ceramics market

Some of the most attractive pottery is made by hand using coils of clay.
photo: TASR

THE WESTERN-SLOVAK town of Pezinok became the centre of pottery and ceramics between June 15 and 17. During the fourth year of the popular Pottery Market, 133 potters from Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Serbia, and Slovakia gathered on Radničné Square to offer their products for sale, as well as demonstrate how pottery and ceramics are created.
Handmade pottery made using the traditional technique of using coils of clay was probably the market's biggest attraction.
The event was accompanied by workshops for children, a competition in making ceramic lamps, and performances by local musicians.
Visitors also had the chance to taste local wines and delicacies.

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