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Mass registration for Bush-Putin summit

AROUND 500 journalists have already been accredited for the Bush-Putin summit to be held in Bratislava on February 24, Slovakia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the TASR news agency.

The ministry estimates that the number of accredited journalists will total somewhere between 1,500 and 2,200. The summit's Press Centre will be in Bratislava's Incheba congress hall.

An association of companies and business organizations in Slovakia is preparing a series of accompanying events for reporters. The aim is to use the summit to raise Slovakia's global visibility.

Ivan Štefanec, chairman of the association's committee said that the business association is co-ordinating its activities with the Foreign Affairs Ministry. "We don't have any set amount of money. When the activities are summarized, we'll look at the cost," Štefanec said.

The government has already set aside Sk205 million (€5.4 million) for the Interior Ministry to purchase special equipment for the summit, including armaments.

Part of the money is to be used for special wage bonuses for police officers.

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