IN SHORT

Forests in ruinous state

ALMOST a million hectares of forest in Slovakia suffered damage from air pollution in 2001, more than double the total in 1996, according to a cabinet study.

The study predicted that merely repairing the damage would cost over Sk2.5 billion ($56 million) through 2010. The Agriculture Ministry now contributes Sk25 million to the purpose annually, while foresters can receive up to another Sk22 million directly from the state budget.

The existing funds are being put towards forest renewal in the Low Tatras and Spiš regions, but cannot cover repair needs in the Kysuce, Orava and Spišská Magura areas, where the study says that renewal must begin by 2005 at the latest if the forests are not to be irreparably damaged.

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News digest: High-profile arrests and discussion on reopening schools continues

PM Matovič proposes pilot testing for schools. Slovakia will have the very first Slovak ambassador to the EU.

PM Igor Matovič has stepped into the debate about opening the schools for older children.

Another former police president reportedly charged in a corruption case

NAKA charged eight former high-ranking police, SIS and Financial Administration officials.

Milan Lučanský

Matovič could have made comments about the US rather than Mongolia

I am proud of what has been achieved in Slovakia, says Billy Altansukh.

Older children will not return to schools before Christmas

PM Igor Matovič still wants some pupils to return, he proposed a pilot testing plan.

The school in Trebišov.