Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

SLOVAK WORD OF THE WEEK

Štrajk

DRAMATIC strikes are nothing unusual. But a dramatic štrajk, that’s something unheard of. Slovaks may have adopted the foreign term, but the practices of hard-core collective bargaining have arrived only now. And the doctors’ protest is the second political and social clash of unprecedented intensity to occur in quick succession.

DRAMATIC strikes are nothing unusual. But a dramatic štrajk, that’s something unheard of. Slovaks may have adopted the foreign term, but the practices of hard-core collective bargaining have arrived only now. And the doctors’ protest is the second political and social clash of unprecedented intensity to occur in quick succession.

The first one was the vote on the European bail-out fund, which brought down the government. For a country where ruling coalitions have always tended towards compromise and mostly succeeded in finding it, even in the more severe conflicts, this was a shock. Now, with many doctors failing to show up for work, comes another one.

Both cases can be interpreted as a positive or a negative sign. The optimistic version is that Slovakia is gaining new confidence – whether it’s Eurosceptics or doctors, people are ready to stand up for their principles. Since apathy and a lack of activism, and their destructive consequences, have dominated local public life, that would be encouraging.

The less upbeat version is that selfishness, a lack of responsibility, and unwillingness to compromise are becoming the norm. And that voters and patients are becoming hostages of extremists. Unfortunately, given the tragic possibilities that early elections and the doctors’ strike may bring, this seems to be the more realistic assessment. It seems that these days, common sense too is going on štrajk.


Top stories

Cloud computing becomes a standard

External servers are now much more secure than local business ones, according to experts.

Slovak firms have their eyes on the cloud.

Slovaks drink less and less

Behind the decline in alcohol consumption is, for example, the abandoning of the habit of drinking at work – typical especially during communism, according to an expert.

Kiska: Even Europe has its aggressive neighbour

President Andrej Kiska addressed UN commenting poverty, instability and climate change.

President Andrej Kiska

Arca Capital enters the banking sector

Czech and Slovak financial group acquires a majority share in Austrian private bank Wiener Privatbank.

Bank, illustrative stock photo