Floods no problem for locals
PAR for the course in the Danube basin.
photo: Sme - Pavol Majer
Recent heavy rains in Germany and Austria increased the water level of the river on Slovak territory. The floods first struck the area around Bratislava, tearing boats from moorings and submerging riverside properties. Water levels later receded in the area, but areas further down the Danube, particularly around Gabčíkovo, remained on high flood alert as The Slovak Spectator went to print.
Meteorologists predicted waters would gradually recede. Serious damage was prevented by the Danube's various anti-flood barriers.
Locals from the Devín suburb of Bratislava were not caught by surprise by the rising waters.
"I experienced floods in 1991 and 1997. I live here, and floods are simply part of our lives," said a Devín inhabitant whose garden was turned into a pond over the weekend.
Devín town hall said that several streets were flooded, but that residents had been taken care of.
"We took people from these street on boats to do their shopping or to take care of business. We had good experience with this in the past. We have one boat, and the rescue service also helps us out," said a Devín town hall official.
Since the end of the second world war the Danube has flooded five times: in 1954, 1965, 1991, 1997, and 2002. In 1554 big blocks of ice blocked the Danube and flooded the Petržalka area.
The worst situation was in 1965 when two water dams were destroyed by the force of the river and the Bratislava Old Town area around today's Comenius University was submerged.
Minister sues media over sex story
CULTURE minister Milan Kňažko is to sue the Czech tabloid Super over a story claiming he had sado-masochistic sex with a Czech film and television producer, Karolína Faltová, lawyers for the minister have said.
Kňažko, a hugely popular actor under the communist regime, is alleged in the article, published in October last year, to have had the brief relationship with Faltová years ago.
Super's reporters claimed they based their story on an interview with Faltová as well as her autobiography, Almost a Sexual Affair or Famous Acquaintances, in which the controversial producer described several affairs from her turbulent love life.
Kňažko's lawyer Ján Havlát said the book made no specific mention of his client's name, unlike it did with other of Faltová's alleged lovers.
Bomb sat in butcher shop
A BUTCHER from the town of Nováky found a time bomb in his shop and alerted the local police to save both his life and business.
The explosive device was placed behind the counter over night from Monday to Tuesday March 19.
Why the bomb did not explode remains unclear. If it had, it would have not only totally destroyed the shop but would have swept away part of a neighbouring home.
Avalanche takes five, all safe
FIVE TOURISTS - two Slovaks and three Poles - were swept away by an avalanche in the High Tatras' Veľká Studená valley, but all were saved by the Tatras' rescue squad.
The avalanche occurred on March 24. Reports said that one of the two Slovaks was a member of the local rescue group. Around 40 rescuers and 15 specially-trained avalanche dogs helped to save the five.
The rescue service said the danger of avalanches remained high in the mountains, where heavy snows and warming temperatures have created unstable conditions.
Skins concert broken up by police
POLICE apprehended 15 skinheads who participated in a neo-Nazi concert at Slatinské Lazy's Matúš motel.
The police action in the night from Saturday March 23 to Sunday March 24 was taken against around 100 skinheads who were attending a live rock concert. The concert-goers circulated various racist leaflets, European Union (EU) symbols with Jewish stars, CDs and materials with texts against Slovakia's EU and Nato entries.
The concert was organised by the Slovak Skins Action Group (SSAG). SSAG is based in Banská Bystrica, and has branches in Bratislava and Košice.
Don't lend your car
A 34-YEAR-old man from Nová Dedina near Levice faces fraud and blackmail charges after trying to sell a van that he had borrowed from a friend.
The man took the borrowed mini van to a nearby used car lot.
One hour later he met with the real owner of the van again, and said if the owner didn't cough up Sk220,000 ($4,500) he would sell the vehicle.
He also demanded that the owner hand over technical papers on the car.
Police apprehended the 34-year-old the same day and managed to save the van from changing owners.