Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

SLOVAK WORD OF THE WEEK

Na zdravie

IT ALWAYS seemed that ‘na zdravie’ (to health) wasn’t the most appropriate thing to say before having a drink. And recent events show that the medical risks can be even more serious than one usually realises. Sadly, the methanol poisonings aren’t the only tragic events of the past week – there was also the discovery of the dead body of a five-year-old in a Bratislava apartment.

IT ALWAYS seemed that ‘na zdravie’ (to health) wasn’t the most appropriate thing to say before having a drink. And recent events show that the medical risks can be even more serious than one usually realises. Sadly, the methanol poisonings aren’t the only tragic events of the past week – there was also the discovery of the dead body of a five-year-old in a Bratislava apartment.

The girl had been deceased for three years without anyone noticing. In a country where you have to visit five different public institutions when a child is born, and skipping school is a crime, that sounds unbelievable. Yet the case proves the same point as the hesitant official reaction to the alcohol scare – in many ways, the state only works on paper. On tons and tons of paper. And the maze of institutions doesn’t lead to more comprehensive services, but to real problems getting lost in the system.

This should be at the heart of the ongoing debate about the supposedly revolutionary reform of public services. But so far, we have heard more about the impossibility of layoffs, the need for a state-run real-estate agency or new names for old institutions, than about what the state should be doing and how. Without more substance, the bureaucratic reform will do as little for the health of the state, as liquor does for that of the body.

Top stories

What does a big fat Slovak wedding look like?

Eating cock meat or noodles with human milk used to be a part of a Slovak wedding, but to most couples today, having a candy bar or professional photographer is more important than observing traditions.

Illustrative stock photo

The first Slovak satellite goes into orbit

After five years of construction, SkCUBE is ready to fly

Another salary negotiation at Volkswagen fails Photo

The strike continues, the representatives of the trade unions say it would be a mistake to give up.

Anti-extremist campaign: Together, there are more of us Photo

Activists launched a new anti-extremism campaign ahead of the autumn regional election in Banská Bystrica.

Together There Are More of Us campaign has been launched June 21, in front of the Banská Bystrica regional office.