President Rudolf Schuster's May order that a special honour guard be designated to serve the head of state will cost the state millions of crowns annually, the daily Národná obroda reported.
As of August 1, Slovakia has had two honour guards - one serving the president, and the other under the Slovak Army. Schuster's personal guard will comprise 31 professional soldiers, 165 conscripts and nine civilian employees. The two honour guards will together cost the state almost 16 million crowns ($32,000) annually.
"Until recently, the honour guard was available to the president only when it was requested by the Defence Ministry and the competent organs," said Schuster advisor Ján Bílek August 2. From now on, the guard will be permanently at the president's disposal.
13. Aug 2001 at 0:00 | From press reports of TASR and SITA