A TV PROGRAMME IN ENGLISH COVERING THE MOST IMPORTANT EVENTS IN SLOVAKIA OVER THE PAST WEEK (VIDEO INCLUDED)

The week in Slovakia

Content of programme: Government flunks the corruption test; A town shuts off the water to the Roma; Freeway completion is in sight; An activist loses his home to fire; The first day of May reawakens memories

Content of programme:


Government flunks the corruption test;
A town shuts off the water to the Roma;
Freeway completion is in sight;
An activist loses his home to fire;
The first day of May reawakens memories

Brought to you in cooperation with TV SME.

The corruption watchdog Transparency International gave the Fico government a failing grade last week, saying it had actually increased room for graft since taking power in 2006. The HZDS party of former Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar had the worst record of voting on anti-corruption measures in parliament.

We’re accustomed to hearing of tensions between Slovaks and Roma in the east of the country, where most of the 700 gypsy shantytowns are located. But it appears that even wealthier western Slovakia is not immune from such problems .

The final stretch of the 200 kilometre D1 freeway between Bratislava and Žilina should be completed on schedule this month, finally linking the two cities after 30 years of construction. The current government announced ambitious plans back in 2006 to complete a freeway link between Bratislava and Košice in the east by 2012. However, that goal proved unrealistic, and the forecasted completion date is now 2018.

Last weekend he camped in downtown Bratislava to protest opening the High Tatras reserve to loggers and developers. But when he returned to his log cabin in the mountains, he found in had burned to the ground .

Around the country Slovaks celebrated the first of May with a mixture of traditional folk ceremonies and mockery of the Communist version of the arrival of spring.

On a final note, Tom suggests that later this month, the freeway between Bratislava and Žilina will finally be completed. When he first came here in 1992, it ended somewhere around Piešťany. The 120 kilometers that has been built since is a metaphor for the enormous progress the country has made, Tom suggests. "And yet, in our loathing for waste and futility, it’s possible we won’t be able to take any satisfaction in the event," he concludes.

Comment section on the article at tv.sme.sk.

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