News digest: Mud skiing, anyone? Resorts warned they could soon run out of snow

Last howitzer delivered to Ukraine, a US footballer with Slovak roots, and the 'joke' that was (happily) not a joke.

Good evening. Here is the Monday, January 16 edition of Today in Slovakia - the main news of the day in less than five minutes.

"A gift from heaven"

When an elderly lady called Maria turned up at a school in Banská Bystrica last year and told them that her late brother had bequeathed the institution a significant financial gift, they thought it was a joke.

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Happily, it was not.

Louis John Gazdarica, a Canadian with Slovak roots who died in 2016, decided to leave significant sums to three schools in central Slovakia.

More stories from The Slovak Spectator website

  • COMMENTARY: 76, the number of MPs' signatures that interim Prime Minister Eduard Heger needs to form a new government, is only on his hockey jersey for now.
  • ANNIVERSARY: The Sme daily, Slovakia's leading quality newspaper and our sister publication, turns 30. Read what its publisher Alexej Fulmek wrote about its first editor-in-chief, Karol Ježík, in his book.
  • INTERVIEW: "We need stability and pragmatic management of the state. We can no longer afford what we had here," said President Zuzana Čaputová in an interview with the Sme daily, confirming that she is ready to appoint a caretaker government if no early elections take place.
  • ENERGY: Energy suppliers will send new advance invoices to consumers with annual consumption up to 30 MWh of electricity and 100 MWh of natural gas that have energy prices set by the regulator, ÚRSO.
  • SKIING: Rising temperatures mean one-third of ski resorts may struggle after 2030 unless they focus on other forms of tourism, an analysis predicts.

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USA selected footballer with Slovak roots to play in first ever World Cup

Despite his slight build, Michael Bookie was a strong footballer. The player, who had Slovak roots, represented the USA in the first World Cup, in 1930. His team came third, which remains the USA's best result in the competition.


  • Slovakia is lagging behind the construction of a motorway from Košice to the Ukrainian border. The road is part of the EU's Trans-European Transport Network. The Transport Ministry says construction could begin in 2029. (Euractiv)
  • From April, carmaker Stellantis will cancel the weekend shift at its Trnava factory. The firm said the new change will remain in place for 18 months as it prepares for a new production programme. The firm announced the new programme, along with an investment of €180 million, in June 2021.
  • MPs Juraj Šeliga, Miroslav Kollár, Michal Šipoš and Milan Vetrák have put forward a bill to anchor the Specialised Criminal Court and the Special Prosecutor's Office in the constitution. They say they want to protect the institutions from being abolished by the current opposition parties if they win the next parliamentary elections.
  • Ukraine has received the last of eight Zuzana 2 howitzers from the Slovak firm Konštrukta-Defence.
  • Soldiers from Finland and Sweden may join a NATO battle group operating in Slovakia. Parliament is yet to approve the government's proposal, which extends a previously agreed 2022 proposal to allow for the presence of 1,200 soldiers in the country.
  • The number of new flats sold in Bratislava last year, at 1,519, was the lowest since the 2008 financial crisis, a report by Bencont Investments shows. The average price of flats rose by 15.2 per cent y-o-y, analysts said, although it has stagnated at €4,900 per square metre since the second half of 2022.
  • Slovakia faced another wave of cyberattacks last week, making some services temporarily unavailable. The Russian group was behind the attacks, the National Security Authority (NBÚ) said.

Thank you for reading The Slovak Spectator.

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