News Briefs

US Ambassador Spielvogel ends Slovak mission
Visa regimes dropped for Slovaks
Peter Weiss says Cuba is ready for change
SVS revises ban on bovine products

US Ambassador Spielvogel ends Slovak mission

US Ambassador to Slovakia Carl Spielvogel announced that his mission would officially end on April 15. The ambassador, who has been recalled by the new US government of Republican President George W. Bush Jr., said that he would leave the country April 19.
During his tenure as ambassador, Spielvogel was involved in the Inwest Forum conference in New York city aimed at presenting investment opportunities in central European countries to American investors. He was also involved in organising the Month of Slovak Culture in New York.

Visa regimes dropped for Slovaks

As of April 10, Slovaks are no longer required to hold visas while travelling to any European Union country, except Great Britain and Ireland. EU officials warned that they might reinstall the visas across the EU if and EU country again became a destination for large numbers of Roma asylum-seekers from Slovakia.

Peter Weiss says Cuba is ready for change

Peter Weiss, chairman of parliament's Foreign Committee, said April 10 that he believed Cuba was capable of great political change. He made the statements after meeting with Cuban Ministry representatives.
A member of the reformed Communist Party of the Democratic Left (SDĽ), Weiss said that the government headed by Fidel Castro was undemocratic, authoritative and close to totalitarian.
He added that Slovakia's position towards Cuba was the same as that of the European Union, which seeks democracy and the assurance of freedom of speech and assembly. Weiss is also opposed to the US economic embargo on Cuba.

SVS revises ban on bovine products

The Slovak Veterinary Authority (SVS) revised previously announced measures banning imports and the transfer of livestock and meat from countries which have reported instances of foot-and-mouth disease. On April 10, the SVS announced that it would limit the scope of its import ban, but that it still applied to Great Britain, Ireland, France, and Holland.
The ban on imports from countries with foot-and-mouth disease applies to imports of non-commercial goods, but excludes canned meat, processed meat products, pasteurised milk and processed dairy products.
Steps taken by agricultural companies to disinfect food trucks and other vehicles crossing Slovak borders will still be carried out. Through customs offices, the veterinary administration ordered continued strict checks of imports of goods.

Compiled by Chris Togneri from SITA

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