Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Langoš

IS THERE any logical reason why a fried piece of heavy dough with sour cream and garlic on top should be the meal of choice at outdoor swimming pools, lakesides, music festivals and almost any summer event? No. Yet somehow, in Slovakia, the langoš has achieved this position.

IS THERE any logical reason why a fried piece of heavy dough with sour cream and garlic on top should be the meal of choice at outdoor swimming pools, lakesides, music festivals and almost any summer event? No. Yet somehow, in Slovakia, the langoš has achieved this position.

Is there any reason why the Catholic Church, or for that matter any other church that receives public funding, shouldn’t disclose the value of its property? Each year, the state pays €37 million to cover the wages of nearly 4,000 priests. Does the church really need the money? The recently revealed transactions of former Catholic archbishop Ján Sokol indicate that perhaps it does not. But no one knows.

Does it make any sense to re-nationalise health-care insurance? Sure, the health insurance market does have its flaws, but most of them result from too much state intervention, not a lack of it. In a country, where there is zero tradition of good public governance, and which is in the middle of a continent-wide economic crisis, the hundreds of millions needed to carry out the transaction could find a better use. Still, Prime Minister Robert Fico is determined to go ahead with the plan.

Why isn’t there a serious debate about closing or privatising the public-service media? Each new administration has to find a way to get rid of the serving director. Each time new candidates talk of independence, and the terribly low quality of broadcasting, especially in the news segment. The present ones running for election next week are no exception. Yet when possible public-sector savings are discussed, this publicly-funded institution, which consistently reports huge losses, is never mentioned.

The success of the langoš, the reluctance to deal with church funding or the loss-making public broadcaster, and the enthusiasm for state-run health care all have a common cause: tradition. This is the way it has always been here. Unfortunately, this only explains these phenomena. It doesn’t make them any easier to digest.

Top stories

Gilden: Take the negative and make a positive from it Photo

The works of New York native, photographer Bruce Gilden, who has worked for five decades in the streets of the biggest cities, are on exhibit in the Kunsthalle (House of Arts) in Bratislava.

Bruce Gilden: Feast of San Gennero, Little Italy, 1984.

The ongoing struggle for a free and democratic Slovakia

The people of Slovakia deserve the credit for the remarkable progress that this country has made over the past twenty-five years, US ambassador writes.

Illustrative stock photo

Foreigners: Top 10 events in Bratislava Video

Tips for the top 10 events in the capital between November 24 and December 3, plus regular services in different languages, training, temporary exhibitions and highlights of the year.

Christmas Markets Bratislava

Robert Fico has lost the electoral magic he once had Plus

But his party can still bounce back if they do the things that make parties resilient.

Robert Fico claims that Smer won the regional elections because it is the party with the most chairs in regional councils.