Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

SLOVAK WORD OF THE WEEK

Cestoviny

IF YOU thought the spaghetti western was a dead genre, think again – the Slovak government’s idea to hand out bread (chlieb) and pasta (cestoviny) to the poor to save them from rising food prices promises enough action, drama, and comedy to entertain not only the entire country, but the entire continent. And the good, the bad and the ugly are all joining the performance.

Pasta for the masses.(Source: Jana Liptáková)

IF YOU thought the spaghetti western was a dead genre, think again – the Slovak government’s idea to hand out bread (chlieb) and pasta (cestoviny) to the poor to save them from rising food prices promises enough action, drama, and comedy to entertain not only the entire country, but the entire continent. And the good, the bad and the ugly are all joining the performance.

First, Prime Minister Iveta Radičová called a special meeting with the agriculture and economy ministers, at the end of which she declared that “the significant increase in [food] prices is caused mainly by developments on the global markets”, but that the government nonetheless “has certain means to react to these developments”. What she meant was revealed by Agriculture Minister Zsolt Simon, who is organising a tender to find someone to turn 45,000 tons of grain into flour and pasta, which will be distributed free to those in need.

“What are we, a country in central Africa? Instead of admitting their failure the cabinet is coming up with nonsense which embarrasses the entire country,” said former prime minister Robert Fico. “Handing out flour and pasta isn’t a solution, but an insult to human dignity,” the unions chimed in.

Now, having a 35-five-hour working week, as the unions are seeking in their most recent petition, or looting state coffers, as the previous administration did, probably doesn’t help the economy either. But for once, one is tempted to agree with the left that humanitarian workers handing out food supplies isn’t really what the moment requires. Or, if the situation is indeed so dire, then why did the Radičová government take the week off to enjoy spring holidays with their kids? Shouldn’t they be thinking of ways to prevent the looming humanitarian crisis instead?



Based on this week’s events an outsider might think that Slovakia is on the brink of famine, is run by a completely wacky government, and has a credible and rational opposition. None of that is true. But for the sake of the country let’s hope this spaghetti incident ends very soon.


Top stories

LGBTI people in the regions: We change people’s minds

Bratislava will dress up in rainbow colours this August again, for the seventh time. This will be for the Bratislava Dúhový Pride diversity festival. But the colours of the rainbow are less bright in the regions,…

Slovakia’s LGBTI community seeks to expand their rights.

Foreigners: Events around Slovakia Photo

Tips for performances and other events in Slovak regions between August 18 and 27, including an air show, a multi-genre urban festival, a clown show, a festival of teamsters, a golf tournament, and a lot of music.

Slávncia Airshow 2012

Blog: 5 things you should do on your visit to the north of Slovakia Photo

Here is a list of tips by an experienced tour guide - including things you have probably not tried before.

Crisis ends in Danko’s defeat

Education minister steps down following Fico’s call, Danko not ruling out he might leave politics.

Former education minister Peter Plavčan and PM Robert Fico on July 24.