Around Slovakia

"Homosexuality is curable"
Suspected criminals nabbed
700-year-old treasure discovered
Police abduct mafia groom from wedding
Flower shoe buds again
Beer festival counts down to 400th birthday of brewery

"Homosexuality is curable"

"In no case can we agree with the statements of the Slovak Conference of Bishops' Committee for Bioethics," said Ganymedes Marian Vojtek, the President of the Movement for the Equality of Homosexual Citizens in response to the Conference's recent assertion that "homosexuality is curable."
The Bishops' committee said that while the Church does not condemn homosexuals, it rejects "the misuse of homosexuality for satisfying sexual drives." The bishops added that the Church does not view homosexuality as "God's intention, where the man occupies a place in the plan of creation. It is impossible to compare relations between these individuals [two men or two women] to a marriage between a woman and a man."
In response, Vojtek accused the Church of neglecting "spiritual affection" between individuals regardless of sex. "Moreover it is not written anywhere that partnership must be based only on reproduction," he said. Vojtek also advised the Church to study recent American homosexual findings and the World Health Organization (WHO) 1991 decision to erase homosexuality from the list of diseases, before they comment on the issue again.

Suspected criminals nabbed

Two private entrepreneurs from Nová Dubnica and Michalovce were detained by Bratislava police on June 25 for their alleged involvement in numerous crimes, including armed robbery and car theft. Interior Ministry Chief Investigator Jaroslav Ivor said the two suspects are members of a criminal group led by Milan K., a former Žilina policeman. He added that subsequent searches of their homes uncovered further incriminating evidence.

700-year-old treasure discovered

Slovak archaeologists said a ceramic jar, unearthed by workers on June 27 on Galandová Street in Bratislava's Small Carpathian mountains, contained medieval foreign currency buried some 700 years ago. According to Ján Hunka, a historian from the Slovak Academy of Science's Archaeological Institute in Nitra, the Austrian and Bavarian pfennige, German dinars and Czech groszy from the period of Václav II, had been buried at the beginning of the 14th century during the rule of Charles Robert of Anjou. Bottles of Račianske wine were also uncovered.
According to Hunka, the most likely reasons why the treasure had been buried was that a tradesman en route to German lands hid the money in the woods to be picked up at a later date. The ceramic jar originally consisted of 150 coins but the workers who unearthed the find while excavating a garden, broke the jar, tossed aside the fragments and made off with 80 of the coins - over half the loot.

Police abduct mafia groom from wedding

Seconds before a marriage ceremony ended, a special police commando squad raided a wedding hall in Šahy and detained the bridegroom, a 30-year-old ethnic Albanian from Yugoslavia. The detained man is alleged to be leading member of the Albanian Mafia that controls the narcotics trade in Slovakia. The man is a cousin Abeli Nexhat, a.k.a. Samko, who was the boss of the Albanian Mafia in Slovakia before he was murdered several years ago.
The detained Albanian has a long-term residence permit in Slovakia and lives in Bratislava. Police Corps Presidium spokesman Jaroslav Sahul informed the press of the successful police action on June 30.
The surprised bride thought that the masked men were friends of her future husband, and told them that it was too soon for kidnapping the bride (a traditional feature of Slovak weddings which usually occurs around midnight). To her surprise, the uninvited wedding guests took away her chosen in handcuffs.
Though the wedding ceremony was interrupted, the wedding guests stayed to chow down at the prepared banquet.

Flower shoe buds again

The town of Partizánske, famous for its shoe-making, continued a thirty-year-old tradition when over 9,000 flowers planted in the mold of a giant high-heeled woman's shoe recently blossomed. Under the supervision of head gardener Ján Grach, the flower shoe is grown every year by local gardeners.
The slim heeled shoe is almost two meters tall and approximately three and a half meters long. Grach said that his crew nursed over six thousand perennial plants of different colours and some four thousand seedlings of different annual flowers that decorate the flowerbed on which the shoe stands. He also added that the unusual shoe requires considerable care: It has to be watered regularly to keep it fresh and beautiful, the plants need to be cut and the garderers have to remove any yellow leaves or dead flowers.

Beer festival counts down to 400th birthday of brewery

The first annual beer festival in Žilina was organised on June 26 in co-operation with Popper brewery in Bytča. The festival will be held annually each summer until 2004, at which time the Popper brewery will celebrate its 400th anniversary.

Compiled by Chris Togneri from TASR and press reports

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