Bratislava regional politicians refused to call a new cycling bridge spanning the Morava River and the border between Slovakia and Austria after American action film star Chuck Norris. Even though it received the support of 12,599 votes in a two-month online poll, the authorities finally picked up the name “Freedom Cycling-Bridge” in memory of people killed attempting to escape communist Eastern Europe, the Reuters.com reported on September 21.
The politicians’ final choice earned only 457 votes, followed by other alternatives, including “Maria Theresa” after the Austro-Hungarian empress and “the Devínska Cycling Bridge” in honour of a nearby village.
“We have unanimously voted for the Freedom Cycling-Bridge,” said Pavol Frešo, chair of the Bratislava Self-governing Region, as quoted by Reuters.com.
During the ceremonial opening and christening, which took place on Saturday, September 22, Frešo said that the bridge is a place where “people were running for freedom through barbed wire, it is a place where many have died, so this is a dignified way to honour these people”, the TASR newswire wrote.
“I am convinced that this bridge - as well as a number of other projects in our region - will contribute towards putting our border regions closer together and serve as a catalyst for team-like development of this part of Europe,” added Foreign Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák, who also attended the ceremony.
The bridge, connecting the Bratislava borough of Devínska Nová Ves with Austrian Schloss Hof, was built by a consortium of Ingsteel and Doprastav and co-financed from the Slovak Republic-Austria 2007-13 Border Co-Operation Programme, TASR wrote.
Source: Reuters.com, TASR
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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