News digest: World's first hydrogen train debuts in Slovakia

Bratislava gears up for mosquito season, it's the anniversary of Ján Čiernohaus who designed the skeleton of the Eiffel Tower, and wine cellars in the Small Carpathian Region are open for wine lovers.

(Source: SME.sk / Hej,ty)

Good afternoon. Here is a quick summary of the main news of the day in our Friday, May 20, 2022 edition of Today in Slovakia. Get up to date in less than 5 minutes.

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Bratislava readies itself for the fight against mosquitoes

Bratislava began monitoring mosquito hatcheries as early as March; when an active hatchery is discovered, the city intervenes with a biocide called Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (BTI). This year, the city stands ready to deploy drones in the event that its volunteer monitors detect an impending "mosquito calamity", as it is known.

Bratislava began using BTI, which kills mosquito larvae but is considered non-toxic for most aquatic organisms, to suppress numbers back in 2019. That year, however, it intervened with the environmentally friendly biocide too late. To avoid this mistake and the subsequent criticism, the city launched preparations for mosquito season during the winter last year.


War in Ukraine

  • A total of 2,844 people from Ukraine entered Slovakia via the Slovak-Ukrainian border on Thursday, May 19, of which 723 were men, 1,757 women and 404 children. Of the total, 162 applied for temporary refuge in Slovakia. At the same time, 3,355 people crossed into Ukraine via the same border on the same day. Since the start of the war, Slovakia has processed 439,382 refugees from Ukraine, of whom 76,977 have been granted temporary refuge in Slovakia.

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Photo of the day

The Alstom company, in cooperation with the French-Slovak Chamber of Commerce, has introduced the first and only hydrogen train in the world, Coradia iLint, in Slovakia. As Slovakia does not have any infastructure for fuelling trains with hydrogen, the train is being assisted by conventional locomotives during its presentation in Slovakia. On its way it was scheduled to be presented on Friday in Prievidza, Topoľčany, Nitra and Nové Zámky. On Saturday it will make appearances in Dunajská Streda, Bratislava (at the main station) and Devínska Nová Ves.


Today's feature story

Wolfgang Gaida, the 52-year-old mayor of Hohenau an der March, an Austrian village on the border with Slovakia, used to swim as a boy with his friends in the nearby Morava river (known as the March in German). They knew that there was a border line in the middle and that they could not cross it.

“There was another world on the other side of the Morava; we heard gunfire at times,” Gaida told The Slovak Spectator when recalling life on the free side of the Iron Curtain.

Today it is possible to visit the river or bathe in it from the Slovak side as well, while cycle paths flank the Morava on both sides.

Getting an idea of former life on the Slovak and Austrian sides of the Iron Curtain Read more 

Anniversary of the week

Ján Čiernohaus (János Feketeházy), May 16, 1842-October 31, 1927, was one of most prominent design engineers of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. He was a close friend and co-worker of Gustav Eiffel, who engaged him in the construction of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. He was responsible for calculations relating to the skeleton of the tower and simultaneously supervised its construction. After the tower was completed, Eiffel split with Čiernohaus, who subsequently entered an international competition announced by the Hungarian Royal Court for the construction of the Liberty Bridge over the Danube in Budapest. He won the competition and became the designer of not only this but almost all the bridges in Budapest.


In other news

  • The price of petrol at filling stations in Slovakia reached another record high when the average for Natural 95 rose to €1.78 per litre last week, based on data from the Slovak Statistics Office. The price of diesel remained at just below €1.80 per litre.
  • Parliament is debating the much-disputed inflation relief package proposed by Finance Minister Igor Matovič (OĽaNO). MPs have agreed that there will be no vote on Friday, though. Coalition partner SaS is continuing to reject Matovič's proposal. The finance minister is reportedly discussing support for his package with opposition MPs from the far-right ĽSNS. (Sme, SITA)
  • The National Criminal Agency (NAKA) has accused former justice minister Gábor Gál (Most-Híd party) of corruption.
  • The US Senate unanimously approved US Ambassador to Slovakia Bridget Brink on Wednesday, May 18, to be ambassador to Ukraine, filling a critical post that has been vacant for three years.
  • Hella Slovakia Lighting, which manufactures lighting technology and electronics for the automotive industry in Kocovce and Bánovce nad Bebravou, has become the exclusive supplier of lights for one of the latest models to be made by US company Tesla.
  • Trdlofest, a festival celebrating wine and trdelník, a traditional Slovak bakery product that originated in the town of Skalica and which was the first Slovak product registered as European PGI (protected geographical indication) in 2007, will open the tourist season in Skalica, western Slovakia, on Saturday, May 21.
  • Wine makers on the Small Carpathian Wine Route from Bratislava through Svätý Jur, Pezinok, Modra and Senec to Doľany open their wine cellars for two days, starting today, to mark St Urban of Langres, the patron saint of wine growers, and enable wine lovers to taste their wines.

Do not miss on Spectator.sk:

Scientist are fed up with people spreading lies Read more  Slovak National Gallery to close as refit enters final stage Read more  Weekend: Losing it soon in the largest maze in Central Europe Read more  Slovakia paid for Russian gas in euros. Gas taps remain open Read more  Do you want to grow grapes? Bratislava offers municipal vineyards for rent Read more 

If you have any suggestions for how this news overview can be improved, you can reach us at editorial@spectator.sk.

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