Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

DIPLOMATIC SHORTS

Slovakia has new ambassador in the UK

JURAJ Zervan was officially appointed as the Slovak Ambassador to Great Britain and Northern Ireland on October 2.

Zervan, 52, a lawyer and member of the ruling Smer party, said during the installation ceremony that he intends to focus on the general promotion of Slovakia during his mission, the TASR newswire wrote. He also plans to help meet the cultural needs of the nearly 100,000-strong Slovak community that lives and works in the UK.

"It looks like more than 60,000 Slovaks officially live in the UK, while the unofficial estimates say there are 100,000 to 120,000 Slovaks living there," Zervan told TASR shortly after he was appointed to the post. "This means that besides a common consular agenda, our embassy in London will do a lot in the area of culture, because this community is large and it has its needs. We also realise (the community's) great knowledge-related and intellectual potential, and that it's necessary to work with these people."

The most frequent problems that Slovaks have to cope with include their inadequate preparation for living in the United Kingdom, and illegal Slovak companies that "mediate" work in the country.

The best way to present Slovakia in the UK is to generally promote the country, along with refuting the recent bad press about Slovakia as an area with frequent racial attacks, Zervan said.

"I personally spoke about it recently with British Ambassador to Slovakia Michael Roberts, and we agreed on certain forms of co-operation, which will be based on mutual information sharing," he said. "We are planning, for instance, to organise film presentations, and we want to establish a Slovak institute."

Top stories

How did Communism happen in Czechoslovakia?

For the 40 years, Czechs and Slovaks would celebrate February 25 as Victorious February, even though the enthusiasm of most of those who supported Communists in 1948 would very quickly evaporate.

Prime Minister Klement Gottwald (right) swears an oath into the hands of President Edvard Benes on February 27, 1948 at the Prague Castle.

Cemetery with a remarkable creative concept Photo

The shapes of tombstones were prescribed until 1997

Vrakuňa Cemetery in Bratislava

Being young is harder than it used to be

The failure of older generations to sympathise with youth means politics are primarily a contest of who can hand out more gifts to old people.

Young Slovaks have problems finding proper jobs.

Historian: After 1948, Czechoslovakia was paralysed with fear

On February 25, Czechs and Slovaks mark 70 years since the rise of Communism in their common state. Historian Jan Pešek talks about the coup and its aftermath.

Demonstration in Prague, Wenceslas' Square, on February 28, 1948.