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Slovakia
Daffodil Day a success

APRIL 8 blossomed with daffodils around the country, a sign for fighting cancer.
photo: TASR

VOLUNTEERS were out on the streets of 412 Slovak towns and villages on Daffodil Day, April 8, to hand out yellow flowers and collect donations to fight cancer.
The Slovak League against Cancer (LPR) organizes the regular one-day fund-raiser.
In the ninth annual Daffodil Day campaign, volunteers collected Sk3.9 million (€99,000) in the Slovak capital alone, the SITA news agency reported.
Last year the campaign collected over Sk15 million (€381,000).
People can contribute to the fight against cancer by dialling charity lines set up by mobile operators Orange and EuroTel/T-Mobile.
Daffodil Day is a fundraising event to support the fight against cancer. It was held for the first time in Ireland in 1988. Everyone contributing money on that day gets a daffodil.


Bratislava
City to become battlefield

IN MAY this year Bratislava will turn into a battlefield. At midnight sharp on May 1 City Game XXX will kick off in the Slovak capital.
Dangerous elements armed with water pistols will prowl the city streets, stalking potential victims.
The organizers of the City Game XXX are a civic group called PäťPé and the Tree of Life Club ŠKUMPA, the SITA news agency reported. Participants must be 15 or over and spend at least 20 days of May in Bratislava.
The game works like this: Each participant is given a description of a potential target to eliminate from the game. The description includes the name, address, photo and daily routine of the target. They must hunt down this "victim" and shoot a card that all participants must wear with the water pistol.
After eliminating a victim players take and mark the card. Shot victims must hand over any cards they have already collected in the game. They must report that they have been shot within one day by text message to the organizers.
Not surprisingly the winner of the game is the one who stays alive. If more than one player is alive at midnight on May 31, the winner is the player with the most cards.
Players must provide their own water pistols. Anybody interested in taking part can apply via www.5pe.sk and www.skumpa.sk by April 25.


Bratislava
Man falls off balcony

RUSTY railings are to blame for a near-fatal accident on Vajnorská Street in Bratislava on April 10. A man fell from the third-floor balcony of his flat, the daily SME reported.
The 29-year-old man suffered serious injuries, including a fractured thigh in his left leg and a broken right heel. He also suffered injuries to his head and arms.
The accident happened, according to SME, when the man went to hang a blanket over the railing. When the man leaned against it, it gave way and the man fell.
A neighbour told the daily: "It is incredible. I have lived here for 40 years and I don't remember anything like this. We were all very shocked. Now we are afraid to step onto the balcony."
The Construction Ministry recently declared that it would cost Sk400 billion (€10.1 billion) to renew Slovakia's paneláky (panel blocks of flats). Their durability is supposed to be 80 years. The oldest one in Bratislava is 50 years old.
"The durability of the houses is hard to quantify. In terms of their operation and maintenance, it is vital that someone is always made responsible for that. The flat owner is probably the one who would be responsible for the balcony railing," construction expert Daniel Moravčík told SME.


Devín
Dzurinda runs again

SLOVAK citizens could cheer on PM Mikuláš Dzurinda in the annual Devín-Bratislava race.
photo: TASR

PRIME Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda took part in the 58th annual Devín-Bratislava National Road Race on April 10, the TASR news agency wrote. It was the fifth time the PM had taken part in the event.
Dzurinda crossed the finish line of the 12.3 kilometre course in less than 58 minutes. The route begins beneath the ancient walls of Devín castle, next to the Danube River, and ends at the Slovak National Theatre building in central Bratislava.
"I always have a nice spring and summer after running the Devín-Bratislava National Road Race," said Dzurinda.


Lúčky
Thief lifts ATM, cash

A THIEF lifted a complete ATM machine containing Sk490,000 (€12,400) in cash from a spa house in Lúčky, in the Žilina region, the SITA news agency reported April 8.
Žilina police spokeswoman Jana Balogová said that the ATM alone was worth some Sk600,000 (€15,200).
Police later arrested and opened proceedings against an unnamed suspect.


Jarovce
Indian immigrants found in fridge boxes

THIRTY-NINE Indians were found in fridge packaging in the back of a truck trying to cross over the Slovak border into Austria at Jarovce on April 11, the SITA news agency reported.
A police officer first found four illegal immigrants in one of the containers. He suspected something unusual when he saw the transparent shrink-wrap covering the containers was moist on the inside and warm to the touch.
On opening one box, four men peered fearfully out. After a thorough search of all the boxes, the rest of the young Indians were found.
The truck driver is now behind bars and the illegal migrants have applied for asylum and found temporary shelter at the Adamov refugee camp.


Poprad
Radio Tatry crosses the border

RADIO Tatry, which is based in Poprad, started broadcasting again on April 9 after a break of several years, the TASR news agency reported.
An adjusted licence has given the former local radio the right to broadcast as an international radio station. It is now part of the Radio Tatras International (RTI) network. Broadcasting will be bilingual - in Slovak and English.
"The licence will enable Radio Tatry to swap programmes with the RTI," said Valéria Agócs, head of the Committee for the Broadcasting and Retransmission.
Radio Tatry Director Igor Ludma told the TASR news agency that the radio station would broadcast information and music in Slovak language between 7:00 and 19:00. After 19:00 they would broadcast special programmes received from London.
Around 40 million listeners will be able to listen to Radio Tatry on the 94.2 FM dial.


Košice
US experts on Slovak tourism outlook

IN TERMS of tourism, Slovakia has the potential to become the Switzerland of Central Europe, a leading expert in the field from the University of Central Florida told reporters in Košice on April 8, the TASR news agency wrote.
"It requires appropriate investments and sufficiently qualified human resources," said Abraham Pizam, Dean of the University of Central Florida's Rosen College of Hospitality Management.
He was speaking in Košice at the Technological University, where he was starting a two-week stay.
"We have been cooperating for three years. Right now we're working towards grants that would facilitate the exchange of experts and students," said Gejza Timčák, who teaches at Košice department of land use.
"Tourism development is among our regional priorities and we're confident that we'll succeed in our efforts and finish, within two to three years, both a survey of the terrain and the so-called Master Plan of Tourism for the Košice region," said Timčák.
Pizam will also visit major Slovak tourism areas, such as the High Tatra mountains and the Tokaj winemaking area in the south-eastern Slovakia.

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