December 2005

What does the renewed Slovak National Council want?
We need the perspective European Union
The European Union declares its partnership with the USA? Should it be changed?
Are you against the regulations on the agricultural market?
How should these tools be adjusted to the present days?
What is the reason for this discrimination?
You say that this decline has been projected. What tools have been used?
What are the key issues of CAP concentrates on?
Slovakia is very shy in this fight. Does it have nothing to fight for?
So, you say, farmers are responsible for it?
The Castle of Eger
A wonder of the world placed in the swamp
The biggest part of Efez in under the ground
Earthly residence of Goddess Arthemis
The fortress of paganism
A Wonder of construction in swamps
The largest small hospital survived the crisis
Employees did not believe it
Revival of the High Tatras
There were forty-four of them
Baroque sculptures in Orava
3 times AD LIBITUM for Cyril Zeleňák
´Lipa sings Lasica´s songs
My era was so charming

What does the renewed Slovak National Council want?
The members of the Slovak elite and Slovak middle class, Slovak citizens- have you heard? A group of Slovak patriots (United in the association SI Slovakia and Korene) established the Free Council of the Slovak Nation on September 18, 2004 and they revived the Slovak National Council on the occasion of the First Declaration of Independence of the Slovak Nation in Myjava in 1848. You didn´t know that?! Therefore we would like to introduce it to you as we are interested in your opinion on this initiative and whether you wish to support it. Please, write us on kurier@dodo.sk or text us on 0903 646 090.

…´What leads us, our contemporary generation of Slovak patriots to renew the Slovak National Council and why just the one dating back to 1848? Now, under completely different circumstances, the present situation would have been unbelievable for our predecessors. Well, their reasons were probably the same. Our dissatisfaction with the state in our country! Is the Slovak Parliament a real descendant of the Slovak National Council from 1848? It did not even keep its name! Is our parliament a national parliament? If so, is it Slovak as well national? Neither ´popular´ exists, our ´rulers´ have cancelled the day (once a year) when citizens had a chance to meet their MPs face to face. Neither popular nor national! However, it is a party one. Its decisions obstruct not only national freedom and sovereignty but also our personal freedom. Also MPs´ freedom so that they let their parties to force them to pursue interests of the parties and they are not interested in national interests!
What does the present Slovak Parliament lack that we, Slovak intelligentsia, have decided to renew the Council from 1848 in its historical form as a strict protector of the rights of the Slovak nation? People… Honest and brave people, who are not compromised, outstanding personalities and authorities or at least those who helped this nation. Personalities- outspoken, wise and fair whose aim is not to make money for themselves or to build up their career or earn popularity but to serve this nation! Therefore, the first Slovak National Council is the most positive and unreachable example.
Morality does not accompany the politics. Why would it? It has been deceived so many times. Despite it, we do not have another chance- just to fight for a better, nicer and fairer world and keep taking this risk. It is neither bigger nor smaller than it used to be. The situation is serious- it is about life and culture of our nation. This fight is both inevitable and endless.
The sense of our active participation in it is, more or less, based on the fact that our deeds for this nation should give directions to our future generations and show them the right way. This is the target of each generation and is of a great importance. If we want to achieve it, we will have to learn from our predecessors and their mistakes.
Memory of each nation is a great treasure! Let´s study it profoundly and judge how much truth is in there and how much honesty and truth this ´eyewitness´ of the event being celebrated today has had- thanks to our ´ignorance´ - it has changed since then.
´ We suffer from the illness, the lack of capable leaders- unfortunately. And if we follow the direction we have set off- just as agitators- it will be the same direction we followed during our uprising in 1849, the direction of fictional and fatalistic idealism and agitation as it is today: so we will just keep weeping, crying, moaning, complaining and we will please ourselves by silent results and hope in better future. It will last until we are used like material and they will take advantage over us.´
It is an appeal for all those, for the whole nation, for brave and wise ones and for the whole Slavonic world to concentrate their interests in bringing-up their elites who will not be used just for knitting, painting and embroidering. It is time to search for and educate those who are clever, brave, self-confident and give our nation devoted leaders and ruler who will protect our values and our national inheritance. It is our appeal for life and future and it is addressed to young generation as there is only one truth- If you are not able to rule, you will be ruled!

Robert Matejovic, M.A.
Editor in Chief

We need the perspective European Union
While the farmer in the former EU got 400 EURO a hectare in the direct payments, Slovak farmer got hardly 70 EURO. In the WTO, the European Union support our interests and leads the negotiations for us, better said for nobody as t is not an economic unit. WTO agreements are realized in economies of the individual states. We can limit decrease of contributions but does it make sense? Actually, we did not tell Mr Mandelson what to require from Americans. The French do not fight for us when they insist on high contributions. We predominantly need the unified system of contributions for all the members, ´ Peter Baco claims. He is the European MP.

He was a Minister of Agriculture for six year. The public considers him to be a pragmatic agricultural politician. He has been a European MP since June 2005. He is a member of the Independent Group, the Committee for Agriculture and Country Development and he is a deputy for the Committee for the Regional Development. He is an active member of the Czechoslovak Association of Modern Agriculture, which was established by Milan Hodža in 1930. Hodža was the first Slovak Prime Minister in former Czechoslovakia. ´ I am the oppositional politician, not dependent on opinions of the political fractions in the European Parliament. My opinions are not always in accordance with those of the Slovak Government and the European bodies concerning the matters of the agricultural and country policies. I am trying to see contemporary policies from the critical point of view, initiate discussions, process and submit possible alternatives, ´ Says Peter Baco, an Engineer of Agriculture (1945, Opatová nad Váhom, County of Trenčín), the graduate from the University of Agriculture in Nitra. He was given Ľudovít Štúr´s Award (as he participated in establishing of the Slovak Republic) and Silver Medal FAO, the United Nations Organization for Food and Agriculture (He helped to solve the issues of famine in the world).

Mr Baco, you criticize the EU that it is no able to make clear and precise statement in the questions of economy. How does it influence Slovak interests?
I do not think I criticize something but I take all fact and analysis very seriously and I try to find other alternatives where our weaknesses are. I am afraid of the further perspective of the EU. It is a question of life for Slovakia. Its area is preordained to be open widely from the economic point of view, which means it can be hurt very easily. We expect to reduce this risk by the integration into the EU. It is a great issue and we paid a lot for it. The average wage reached 94% after 15 years- that is the price Slovak citizens paid for this transformation of economy acceptable by the EU. In order to become the members of the EU, we signed the integration agreement which obliged us to limit movement of workforce within the unlimited period, to discriminate our farmers and unclear condition in the field of services. We paid this price to get stable and profiting economic area. Any problems or crisis of the project of the EU are very dangerous for the state of our size and economic power. I am trying to find possibility of higher stability and perspective. Perhaps, we are more sensitive to laugher at ´ our idle talks and resolutions set by the EU´ coming from overseas. I do not take into consideration opinions saying that the EU will not last longer than 15 years. I ignore any ironic comments. However, I pay attention to arguments explaining their attitudes and problems the EU has with the common procedures. I mean incapability to ensure following the Pact of Stability, rule changes during the game, pathetic reasons given by all the Commissars, why we declare not to be successful in Lisbon Strategy just in the half time instead of trying to reach its goals. It is also about less important resolutions that have been jut said. We say that the Programme for the replacement of solid fuels will not be fully implemented, hardly 50 %, which the EU plans to achieve by 2010. We revise and correct our original plans and we do not hesitate to make other resolutions- it is necessary to change it. As a Slovak citizen and European MP I attempt to achieve it as it is necessary for stability and perspective of the EU.

Well, the EU continues discussing the Constitution. We noticed a similar attempt not a long time ago when the Convent and the Member States discussed the contents of the Treaty of the European Union. It was not successful, the French and Dutch did not prove it in their referenda. Should a schizophrenic discussion concerning the Constitution be initiated again?
Unfortunately, not about its contents but more about organizational and formal matters. Ordinary people are disappointed and disillusioned; they do not understand their leaders- how they want to change Europe in the future. I think this discussion is an unrepeatable opportunity to discuss perspectives of the EU in three main areas. The first are visions and leaders who should submit their long- term visions. They should clearly declare unitary, federal and confederative or maybe another, more original type of the EU. Leaders must be willing to understand and able to fight for their opinions and attitudes and have arguments – stated exactly. The second area involves the matters of responsibilities in accordance with their competences of the EU. I mean, this undignified and non- functioning position of the European Parliament For example, MPs elected directly had an opportunity to make a statement on the proposal of the Constitutional Treaty a few months after it had been approved by the Member states. It is the same now, when the Parliament is going to make a statement on the reform of the sugar regime which has already been approved by the Council. Or the Commissar for Trade is negotiating with WTO (the World Trade Organization) about the agreement for the EU but it will be realized in the Member states. Current interventions of France into this process are typical example different interests of the individual Members States. The French do not fight for us when they insist on high contributions. We predominantly need the unified system of contributions for all the members. Is our negotiator equal to for example the negotiator form the USA, Russia, China, India that are being supported by the united foreign trade? The political culture of the EU is the third area. I have already mentioned all the slaps our great resolutions got. Personal and leader’s example: When the President of the European Commission was leaving, he declared that the Pact of Stability is fine but it should have been called the Pact of Stupidity. If we want people to trust and understand us, we need to make very clear statements at least on something. If the culture means the relationship to values and political culture means guarantee of value relations, then it should be necessary to begin talking about it, about what we think and we should do what we say. If we want our citizens to understand us, we need to give thing their real names. We need to emphasise that the EU is behind its global competitors. The European Union must ensure its real political interests. The USA is our partner in the political group but they are economic rivals in the global field.

The European Union declares its partnership with the USA? Should it be changed?
It does not see it this way. However, we should see that the USA use power to pursue their global economic interests. It is legal. There are other leaders in the world economy- China, Russia, India, Brazil- their economies will be strengthened and their political interests will widen. The economic power will be the most decisive. That is why we should be more precise and effective in strengthening our economy- we should be stricter. There is no time for hesitation and we have to take over effectiveness, experience even also from our competitors. Issuing norms concerning the shape of cucumbers is not what our citizens expect us to do. I will give you one example based on my own experience: Personalities in agriculture generally declare their negative relationship to the American agriculture. They might find some good things that can be useful for us. I think we should not hesitate and learn form their experience that is applicable to some essential improvement of effectiveness of agricultural production in Europe.

The European Commission proposed big reforms of the common organization of the sugar trade, which should increase competitiveness and market orientation of the sugar sector in the EU, to guarantee profitable future and strengthen the negotiating position of the EU during world trade discussion. These changes will have to modernize the present system that has not changed for 40 years. The proposed reform supposes the elimination of interventions and voluntary plan of restructuralization for less competitive producers what is better than let them leave the sector… The new system will support developing countries and will enable them an easier access to the European market and sell sugar for a good price and above the market standard. Will the countries of Africa, Caribbean and Pacific area which usually export sugar to the EU profit from this programme passed by the Commission. How do you evaluate these proposals?
I do not agree with the proposed solution. The main reason for this reform is uncompetitiveness as a result of present administration and management of this regime. Unfortunately, our proposals of reforms extend the use of administrational, market and non-conforming tools that would not be accepted even in the socialistic and planned economy. It is against growth, employment, country economy and elimination of differences among regions. The programme endangers growing sugar beet in the EU. Actually, it finishes where it is supposed to start. It is similar to previous reforms; it recommends farmers to change their products instead of helping and supporting them. So it is not the reform to move us forward, but it is the matter of financing during this period of regression of sweet beet growing, sugar production, decline of agriculture and the country of the EU. The system of sugar regime has been neglected for many years and the development on the world sugar market is huge and it is necessary to do something. We should elaborate developing alternative reforms. The European Parliament as the Body of the EU should not change the technologies of sugar processing but focus on the political goals of this reform. The European Commission claims the reform must be approved as there is no alternative. I presented my alternative on July 13, 2005 and I stated its principles available for particular bodies…

The proposal submitted by the Commission involved price reduction of sugar in two phases by total 39%, compensations for farmers in the amount of 60 % of the price that will be reduced by divided payments. Compensation would take environmental standards and economic standards into account and it would be added to the overall payment for the agricultural subjects.
There is no need of reducing the price or the amount. We do not regulate groceries of a great importance such as cereals. It is necessary to agree on the regulation tools within the rules of WTO. Sugar processing industry is able to compete its competitors providing an opportunity of purchasing of raw material at market prices and using the most effective organizational and technological worldwide experience. The price of sugar should not be supported by money gained from taxes paid by citizens of the EU. It should be the other way round; excessive consumption of sugar should be regulated- due to our health. Sweet beet should be sold for prices on the market. It is able to accumulate through photosynthesis and solar energy more times. This unique ability can be used just for human nutrition as well as renewable energy for further industrial use. The energetic dependence of the EU grows up by a per cent. Sweet beet requires a special attention and support. This support should stimulate facts for growth of competitiveness of sweet beet production.

40 million EURO should be divided to help developing countries in 2006 and thus the way for further help will be prepared.
Support of the developing countries by sugar should be tied up with the Common Agricultural Policy. This help should be realized by fuels import, fuels made out of sugar cane. Brazil produces fuel out of sugar cane at the price 35 US dollars a barrel. We are aware of prices and prognosis. The EU does not lack sugar but fuel. It is estimated that the EU will not reach its goal, i.e. to use bio-energy, up to 50 %. If the EU participated in organization and investment in this proposal, it would be mutually profitable for both sides.

Supporters of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) that requires almost a half of the EU Budget claim that it guaranteed sufficient and stable supplies of food across Europe. They emphasise that it is the most integrated policy of the EU and that it can be proved by the real political integration. Opposition to CAP is convinced that its main problem is its ineffectiveness. They criticise contributions for farmers, high prices for consumers and agricultural surpluses. What do you think about it?
CAP responded to the situation correctly. Its value decreased due to belated reforms in changing conditions. It should have happened earlier and with higher intensity- to put a pressure on producers to lower costs and to develop agricultural marketing on the global market. It rather proves uselessness of CAP. We must ask the fundamental questions- is or is agriculture not specific or is it necessary to regulate agricultural market? When we view any period of human history, developed societies tried to support stability of their food market by using various regulations. I will mention probable the best known example of t he food regulations- when Joseph explains the dream and gives the pharaoh advice: ´ If you collect cereal crops have grown for over seven good years and you store it in barns, you will have some food to eat during famine. ´ Modern agricultural policies (Europe is a part of them.) were initiated by American President Franklin. D. Roosevelt. They are based on the facts that market balance is local and instable in agriculture. American President decided to correct some mistakes. After a long fight in Congress and Supreme Court of the USA, he implemented the regulation in his Farmers Act in 1934 and he centrally directed the price of wheat. Thus the prices were stabilized and decreased later. The main impulse gave him the bankers who lent farmers money. As they were not able to pay their debts due to bad weather, banks might have lost their money. Thanks to regulated price, the financial market got better, they began making money, interest rate decreased and production of wheat and food increased by 50 %. Citizens paid in their taxes but at last they earned as customers. Prices of food have been four times higher since 1950. Although SAP contribution is much smaller, it has brought some profit. Agriculture is a specific industry- so it is necessary to regulate it. If there were no regulations, customer would be hit most. Suppliers of inputs, agricultural services, bankers and customers, people from the country and citizens as users of agricultural activities profit from regulated trade. However, farmers are the last ones.

Are you against the regulations on the agricultural market?
I would deny what I have said before. Now, we live in global conditions. Every day, a few seeds are planted on one place and also there is a harvest on the other place. Although everything is relative in our era of transport and IT technologies, regulations are still necessary as the reasons have not disappeared yet. I am against the market regulation which serves lobbying groups, mostly interests of global tradesmen and exploit and criticise support of farmers. The negative side effect of the regulation is also fact that it will support these tools, which became tools for global fighting of wealthy people at the expense of poor people. The winner was one that supported and protected farmers with a higher intensity. If one did not have enough money for that as for example Slovakia, they had to produce less at home and close down food plants and operations and to solve unemployment in agriculture, complicated problems of country decline and difference between the regions.

How should these tools be adjusted to the present days?
The best solution is to leave the natural market powers to have an influence in the area. We should not ignore the principle which has been adopted by philosophies for over centuries- Eat what you have grown in the field where you live. In addition, we should not ignore objective specific features of the agricultural market and consumers´ interest in its stability. Regulation tools on the agricultural market should guarantee consumers quality and stability on the food market. They should put pressure on producers in order to lower costs and prices, to increase competition of products which the society orders from the multi-functional agriculture. These tools should eliminate advantages of our competitor outside the market. We should not use these tools to support and put entrepreneurs according to their size or other formal features on disadvantage. There are no comparative analyses whether large or small farms follow the environmental or non- production functions better. Analysis show clearly that modern, highly- productive and effective technologies are more efficient in the conditions of large-scale production. There is one of the reasons why European food is unable to compete those from the USA. If we protect and support ineffective ways of economy separately, and we claim that our priority is the growth of competitiveness, what do the citizens have to think about it? Even so, supportive tools are used in the EU in order to discriminate new members by the old ones. As food is produced at much cheaper price in the new member states, they had to accept conditions of much lower contributions so-called ´sleeping pills´ in the integration agreement. It is being realized by non-unified implementation of CAP in direct payments per a hectare. While the farmer in the former EU gets 400 EURO a hectare in the direct payments, Slovak farmer get hardly 70 EURO, Polish only 50 EURO. So it is not even a quarter of what had been agreed on in the integration agreement. According to the so-called historical principle, Slovak farmers should get direct payment one third lower – sustainable after 2013. Final right for direct payments was determined according to the reported period in which the farmers of the former 15 on the top of their production and contributions and on the other hand, farmers from the new 10 on the top of decline due to much lower contributions. Although we got less support of agriculture that the countries of the EU in 1989, we achieved 5,4tons of wheat crop per hectare in Slovakia compared with 5, 6 tons per hectare, i.e. it was almost the same.

What is the reason for this discrimination?
For instance, it is obvious in the presentation of the Institute for economic comparison in Vienna. It says that the current decline in the New Members has been projected. According to this new institute, New Members did not understand the process of integration as a business but as the way to solve ideological issues. Old Members find it legal when they want to make money from the integration. It is no secret that Old Members covered at least one third of the food market in New Members. Old Members are afraid of competition coming form East Europe; however, they are not endangered now. It is the same as their worries that free work force would be risky for them. The States of the EU did not take their advantage and they did not increased pressure on their producers to lower costs and thus get closer to the prices of global competitors.

You say that this decline has been projected. What tools have been used?
The integration process has been completed by one-side conditions set. It was the price New Members had to pay to become members of the EU. At that time, Old Members had to persuade their citizens that the enlargement of the EU would be very positive and profitable. As they had to promise something, they set production quotas under home consumption for the new member states and thus food (surplus in the 15) was exported to the new member states. They ordered us lower direct payments for soil, forced us to accept norms and standards which required high investments in competitive technologies. That is what had taken us aback. Extended CAP is financed from the same budget. So, simply said, we paid a very high price for the enlargement of the EU, they import their overproduction as their agriculture get much higher contributions. This discrimination must be eliminated within the Union and CAP must be applied equally in all member states. Also the old 15 should increase their pressure on farmers and food producers so that we faced our future together.

Has the Committee for Agriculture and Country Development told the Commission or the Council about this discrimination?
We point at it individually, but only a few members of the Committee from Poland and Hungary. For example, during hearing of present Commissar Mrs. Boel Fischer, I asked a question – what does she want to do about the discrimination of the new members of the EU? She gave me a very brief answer- all these issues have already been stated in the integration agreement and both sides are obliged to follow them and it is not necessary to open them again- she would not recommend it. Colleagues from the new member state joined me. We insist on elimination of discrimination. However, the Committee where we present only a minority does not support us. Life is always about re- evaluating your activities and principles and if it is necessary, we have to change them. And if we need to change the contents of the integration agreement and it is too complicated to do it directly, we are obliged to try and compensate it in different way. It is the way where national governments as the members of the Council should play their role.

Your Committee has 42 members, it is chaired by the French and vice- chairman is from Poland. There are only eight of you coming from the new member states, most of them are from Poland (5). There are also representatives from Hungary and Lithuania. How does it influence pursuing interests of the new members in the common agricultural policy? Are there any common goals of New Members against the old ones?
We do not have coordination meetings but we know about one another and we give advice. While sorting out ordinary agenda, we are not aware of the state the member of the Committee comes from. It is completely different when we feel we are being discriminated. When one of us makes a statement – the others will support him. Nevertheless, from mathematical-and- parliamentary point of view, the result is rather obvious. We could see it for example, while solving the discrimination of Poland in quotas of starch.

Let’s go back to tools of farmers and food producers´ support. What are they supposed to regulate in the Union?
It is important to Slovakia to regulate equally. Regulation is very important, especially in terms of foreign trade, for elimination of contributions for our competitors. New states have their competitors in the old 15 who get much higher contributions.

What are the key issues of CAP concentrates on?
Naturally, completion of CAP reforms. At present, it is about the reform of country development and sugar regime reform. Of course, the precautions supporting the 1st pillar of CAP after 2003 are important as well. The main priorities of these days are the negotiations of WTO in Hong Kong. Consequently, the can influence agricultural policy of individual members. There are also some other very important issues such as strategy of wood industry and use of plant for other purposes.

How can the exact agreements made with WTO influence agricultural policies of the Member states?
Agreements made with WTO do not involve only agreements on regulations of support of export and implementation of extra import charge but they also involve agreement on volumes and forms of home contributions for producers. All these three areas are the largest and the most complicated agendas of WTO; it is just in agricultural sector that a progress achieved in trade liberalization is a permanent part of its all agreements. Complexity is not only influenced by its variability of different opinions of the developing and developed world but also by various interests of developed countries. Moreover, different states use different ways of support realization and different ways of protection of their producers. As developing countries do not have funds to support their producers and export, they require as much liberalization as possible. They know they can achieve only partial obstruction of their home and export contributions. Of course, they need customs barriers to be reduced.

The European Union is the main trader in global agricultural trade; it is the biggest importer and the second biggest exporter of food. What are your comments on present negotiations between WTO and the USA?
Media announced that American president is willing to cancel their own support and contributions for farmers. Other sources propose to lower contributions from 19, 1 MLD USD to 7, 6 MLD USD by 2013. In addition, other sources claim that the USA wants to decrease import customs down to zero by 2023. It is obvious, these entire proposal are very good for t he USA as the States have plenty of soil and very good weather conditions. On the other side, we must confess that thanks to Americans key commodities (grain, poultry, and beef) are produced at half costs compared to the EU. Naturally, they are not afraid of expensive import from Europe and thus they can propose elimination of customs barriers. Moreover, the production potential of America is not used and they produce very cheep, they want to support export. However, they are already doing it, in many hidden forms. They do not hide their readiness to fill world markets of aggressive commodities by their aggressive marketing and thus pursue their political ambitions. That is what they declare. And of course, they do not want to talk about non-reformed form of ´ non- separated´ contributions for home producers. The EU reduces overproduction so it can propose decrease of export support and needs to protect more from imports. Negotiations are very complicated. One matter is the political statements influencing the atmosphere of negotiations, others are interests announced by media. The third things are the exact negotiations that are led in different way compared to informed public. This information is not always publicized.

What is your idea?
I am for liberalization of all areas interfering markets. Even agriculture is a very specific area, the main principle is still valid- the winner of competition is one who sells cheaper, of a higher quality with more effective marketing. Of course, I support lower export and home contributions for the EU but our biggest competitor- the UAS and comp. must not take advantage on the agreement that would improve their competitiveness on third markets. The EU should be more careful. The progressive sequence of implementation of the agreements is very important. Long-term experience shows us that it is possible to adjust by 3 – 4 % without any negative consequences. It means for example, at the agreed 30 % decrease of contributions, turning on up to this level will last 7 or 10 years. There are also some risks and reserves. I am not sure if our negotiators formulated probabilities of impact on agricultural export- import balance in various forms of agreements. Recently, I asked Mr Mandelson who is responsible for negotiations that what will be the agricultural export- import balance between the USA and the EU like in 2010? If the EU proposals and if American proposals are approved. I got a very interesting answer: ´I cannot tell you what American farmers will do…´ To be honest with you, I cannot imagine how to overcome the handicap of the EU that the USA negotiate for united federal foreign trade and our representatives for trade of the 25 states often having contradictory interests.

Slovakia is very shy in this fight. Does it have nothing to fight for?
Higher liberalization will be more profitable for Slovakia on condition that its positive and negative consequences will occur in all members of the EU. It was neither Slovakia nor New Members but the former 15 that presented us their mathematics, for example 330 EURO/ ha more payments for Old Members might be reduced to 165 EURO/ ha. Our competitors would have smaller advantage of competitiveness in the EU. The progress in liberalization is necessary for us to improve the visions of the world, European and our agriculture and country. Our prognosis shows that Slovakia will be able to feed 2, 5 times more inhabitants than today. Hong Kong Agreement will help us to prepare much better to pursue the interests of the SR during the other reforms of CAP after 2008.

Article 33 of Treaty about the establishment of the European Community states five priorities of common agricultural policy. They are: productivity increase, assurance of particular standard of living, markets stabilization, and price availability and to ensure that products will get to consumers. Where these priorities fulfilled?
Yes, actually. However, CAP should have been reformed many years ago. It should put pressure on producers t lower their costs on the global market and support modern marketing.

Russia prohibited importing Polish pork and groceries recently. What do you think about this trade war between Russia and Poland? Will your Committee support pressure of Poland so that Russian government cancelled this prohibition? Or will it behave like Commission or Council for which it is not the issue of the European Union? What is your opinion?
On 13 November, we discussed this problem in the Committee and based on the information available, the committee did not pass a recommendation. It is said that Polish meat exporters forged export documents- in fourteen cases. Polish claim that Russians should not take a few individual mistakes so strictly and they should not have forbidden Polish export at all. Polish are convinced it is an extraordinary and non-compromised attitude and it might have a completely different background. Russians consider it as bilateral matter and they are willing to discuss it. The European Commission is willing to get involved but it has not received an official letter of application yet. Moreover, the EU does not have any detailed analysis. I think both side can solve the problem and do not need a mediator.

Country development is one of the crucial political areas. More than a half of population of the EU lives in the country which covers 90 % of the area of the Union. Farms and food industry are the main sectors using soil in the country and thud they have a very important role in hearts of country communities. They form the base for strong social structure and economic capability. How do you evaluate the policy of the Slovak Government in the country development?
Slovakia is the most ´rural´ country of the EU. The smallest number of inhabitants live in the cities with over 100 000 citizens. Slovakia is much more sensitive to country policy of the EU but mostly to ´ rural´ policy of Slovak Government. But present governmental policy deepens the decline of the country especially in less developed regions. It does not give them space to gain their own funds they need so that they could use finances from the EU funds. The greatest problems are lack of the finances of their own agro- entrepreneurs, weak connection of precautions for the development of the country with the policy for regional development and there are no long-term visions of country development. To be successful in the development of typical agricultural country means to be a profitable entrepreneur in the particular region. Where agro- entrepreneurs are profitable all the year, the country is profitable too. But if the entrepreneurs decline, so will the country. When ruined, the most beautiful intentions are ruined.

So, you say, farmers are responsible for it?
No. Lack of finances is based on politics. Unfortunately, it is reality that the most rural country of the EU has the government that does not fancy the country and less developed regions. The government does not follow the principles of the integration agreement but even more, it uses the money for the development of the country somewhere else. According to M. Dzurinda´s motto: ´ No food is produced in Hong Kong and people do not starve there, ´ his Slovak government used 4mld SK from the structural fund for the country development in the resort of constructions. Another billion is moved to the direct payments. The 2006 total support from the EU funds will be realized by Slovak government in the amount of 3 MLD SK lower than agreed.

The Castle of Eger
The town of Eger is situated in the picturesque valley on the border of the Bukk and Matra Mountains. It is about 150 kilometres in the east from Budapest. It is known not only by its baroque buildings, thermal springs, and wine coming from surrounding vineyards but also by its medieval castle towering on the hill upon the town.

It was build at a very important place from strategically point of view, after Tatars invasions in the second half of the 13th century. Based on Tamás Varkoch´s order, a Captain of the Castle, the castle was being rebuilt between 1542 and 1549. The castle was divided into two parts, inner and outer ones, the gate called Sétet joining both parts of the castle was constructed as well as the fortification system and the walls were improved. This castle was able to resists Turkish troops (80 000 soldiers/ for a month. Turks were led by Ali Pasha from Budin and István Dobó, Captain of the Castle, protected the castle with 2000 peasants and defenders. Thanks to many legends and works of literature, he became almost mysterious character, brave defender of the last fortress in the Upper Hungarian Kingdom. There are still plenty of flowers and wreaths on this grave in the castle. After Turks finally conquered the castle and the town, Eger became the centre of the Osman province and the border town in the north for 80 years. During the reign of Turks, the fortress was repaired, churches were rebuilt into mosques and the spa was opened there. One minaret has still remained there.
If you decide to visit this castle, you will need about four hours to see it properly. You can admire ruins of a Romanic and late- Gothic cathedral in the bishopric established by the King Stephen (975- 1038(. In the hall of heroes and in the bishop’s palace, there is a gravestone belonging to István Dobó, the names of the castle defenders and the description of fights during the besiege.
In the air-conditioned galleries placed upstairs, there are paintings by the Italian and Dutch painters from the 16th and the 17th centuries and Hungarian painters from the 18th and 19th centuries. There is also a beautiful picture of the Spiš Castle... There is also a jail, torture room, coin room and panoptic. You can enjoy walking along the corridors of the underground fortification system where you can see Romanic and gothic lapidarian.
A few thousand tourists from the entire world visit the caste every day. It is not unusual to meet a Japanese tourist there. The most interesting attraction is the change of guards at the important places round the castle. They are being accompanied by tourist taking pictures of them. The visit of the castle is a very strong experience. And everyone who is interested in history a bit must realize that it became a symbol of Hungarian patriotism.

A wonder of the world placed in the swamp
When Efez appeared under the reign of Christian Byzantium, another period of its plundering began. Marble facing of the temple was taken away to be used for other buildings. The cohesion of the construction was damaged and the most beautiful Ionic temple fell into the swamps and alluvium of the nearby river of Kaystros.

The largest field of ancient ruins in the world- it is all about the Turkish Efez, a former metropolis of Greek Ionia and the Roman province of Asia. It was the imposing town of the Greek world in the 8th century BC. Based on the resources available, the city had 250, 000 inhabitants in the year 133.

Efez was an important centre of the Christianity spreading at that time. Apostle Paul resided there for three years; Evangelist John lived there as well as Mary Virgin who died there- according to the Church tradition. The first written records of Iliad and Ulysses by homer; the first ideas of the materialist philosophy were established there, Heraclites was born there and many other famous Greeks... Goths attacked the town in 263 and ruined it. It had never got over it and ended up in ruins.

The biggest part of Efez in under the ground
Efez is the largest and the richest ancient archaeological place in West Asia. However, it has not been excavated properly and it looks as if the excavation works had been stopped. It is said that 70 per cent of Efez has not been revealed yet. Plenty of tourists from all over the world wandering along the stone treasure of the ancient architecture will not come across a single trace of the archaeological research. I did not notice any reconstruction changes since my first visit there seven years ago. Just weed grew bigger... However, walking across the ruins of Efez is a very impressive experience. Odeon, Celsus´s Library, a magnificent theatre for 25, 000 spectators, which is still used for concerts (For example- Placido Domingo or Elton John gave their concerts there), Hadrian’s Temple, Marble Road, a famous, a kilometre long way, columns, spas... It is all so stunning.

Originally, Efez was not located on the places where the main historical sites are concentrated but it was situated about three kilometres further to the north-east by contemporary Seljuk. The sea nearly reached its parts. Some traces of the Efez settlement were found in Seljuk. It is exactly the place where Arthemidis Temple was built in the middle of the ^the century. It is the third wonder of the ancient world. Its story is rather dramatic.

Earthly residence of Goddess Arthemis
This temple is a ' unique shelter of gods on Earth. ' And, whoever has been there once, learnt and is convinced that Heaven and Earth had exchanged their places and that the world of immortal gods had moved from Heaven to Earth. ‘These words introduce the description of the building considered as the most beautiful building in the ancient world. The temple was not situated above the town but in the valley, seven kilometres far from Efez. It did not even belong under city administration; it used to be a kind of a self-governing region ruled by the clergy. It was the first monumental Greek building constructed in an Ionic style. Arthemis, Goddess of hunting, had her earthly house there. She was a daughter of Zeus, the highest in the hierarchy of Greek gods. She was also a Goddess of fertility and she was often depicted by statues having more breasts. Greeks considered her as the ideal beauty of women. The Cult of Arthemis lasted for a few centuries, as the leading goddess of Efez. There are no records concerning the Temple in the earliest times. Nevertheless, it is known that it had been built for 120 years- the construction was completed in 450 BC. The project by famous Chersifrones was the best. He designed the temple made of marble and rims it by two lines of columns. The temple was 110 metres long, 50 metres wide and 127 columns of 20 metres height rimmed it. Unfortunately, Herostratos damaged everything that had been built by Chersifrones and his descendants. The man having no extraordinary importance decided to become the part of the history and commit something by which he would have earned immortality. Therefore, that insane man of Efez burnt the Temple of Arthemis to become famous in 356BC. At that time, the building was only a hundred years old. Citizens of Efez made a decision to erect a new temple on the same place similar to the original one. The construction led by Deinocratos, an architect lasted only a few years. That is why this temple was recognized as the wonder of the world. It deserve it more than the first one.

The fortress of paganism
Alexander of Macedonia also participated on the completion and decoration of the temple. At that time, he arrived in Efez. By coincidence, he was born on the same day as the insane ruler obsessed by glory, burnt it- on the 21st July 356 BC. Alexander the Great liberated Efez from Persian oppression and it became independent again. Arthemisis Temple had stayed for approximately five hundred years. Its glory partially caused its fall in the era of early Christianity. Efez had remained a fortress of paganism for a long time- beautiful goddess did not want to be replaced by a new God so easily. It sent Goths to attack the city and they plundered it; the temple included. When Efez appeared under the reign of Christian Byzantium, another period of its plundering began. Marble facing of the temple was taken away to be used for other buildings. The cohesion of the construction was damaged and the most beautiful Ionic temple fell into the swamps and alluvium of the nearby river of Kaystros. The strong earthquake definitely ruined the temple and the town in 383. Some parts, especially columns from the palace, were used for the construction of the church called Agia Sofia in Istanbul in the first half of the 6th century. The rest of marble parts disappeared in swamps and the place where that famous place stayed was forgotten for twelve centuries. After seventy years of searching, J. T. Wood, British Archaeologist, finally found the traces of temple in 1869. However, the entire foundations of the temple were excavated in the 20th century.

A Wonder of construction in swamps
Nowadays, when you arrive at these historical places and with a bit of luck (Supposing it had been a dry weather for a longer time) you can get straight to the temple through dried swamps. It might be rather disappointing. There are two columns arising from the weeds, they are the only remains of previous columns. Heavy stone segments of the palace are being pushed deeper into smelling mud. There is a metal sheet with a simple ground plan and that is all. Nothing else to remind you the glorious history and the wonder of the ancient world.´There are no funds for reconstruction, cultivation or other repairs,´ says our Turkish travel guide. ´ Perhaps, the European Union or UNESCO should provide some money,´ this Muslim adds. I heard the same while visiting ruined sites of Efez. It is for sure that Greek culture belongs to the most significant cultures of human civilizations and Efez surely deserves more attention paid by the Turks and the whole world.

The largest small hospital survived the crisis
The management wants to reach independence and rebuilt it into a modern hospital in the mountains- Hospital Kežmarok with a new pavilion. 1200 children are born there every year and it belongs to the best hospitals in Slovakia. However, Insurance companies still under valuate its performance by 30% compared to other hospitals. How long for?

A small health care miracle appeared in Kežmarok. The former hospital of Dr. Vojtech Alexander that used to be a reserve hospital for the East Block and government facility and former in Javorina in the High Tatras (Slovak- Polish border) was about to be closed. However, it survived its economic decline and it has been breathing much better since June this year. The management was able to stabilize and restructuralize the funds of the hospital, to increase an average wage by 18% and start up its transformation into a modern hospital in the mountains for the region of Zamagurie and Kežmarok which have 65 000 patients. As it is the hospital with the greatest number of patients in Slovakia. It is also called the biggest small village in Slovakia. It employs 272 people. It provides health care and prevention within six wards with the capacity of 179 beds- gynaecology with a maternity ward, a ward of internal medicine, children’s and newborn babies, the wards of anaesthesiology and intensive medical care as well as the ward for long-termed ill patients.

The Mayor of Kežmarok Ing. Igor Šajtava and the self- government initiated this positive change. Mr. Šajtava managed to convince the town council to save the hospital with policlinics after 2002 when the hospital became the part of the regional administration. At that time, the hospital suffered from very senseless privatization of the services and everyone expected the end of the hospital, the Town Council approved the establishment of a non-profitable organization Dr. Vojtech Alexander’s Hospital. The hospital hired the building free of charge, tangible properties and assets with all rights and liabilities. This contribution organization, i.e. Dr. Vojtech Alexander’s Hospital was transformed into a trading company not providing medical care. It operates only the building of the former policlinics where private firms are based. They provide health care services (dentists, X-ray private GPs). Its activities help to pay their liabilities against the town and creditors.

Employees did not believe it
MVDr. Jozef Klima (1954) took responsibility to solve economic crisis in the hospital. He accepted Mayor's offer in order to help stabilize and develop the hospital named after the first X-ray expert in Slovakia. Dr. Vojtech Alexander was the first reader and professor of X-raying in the Hungarian Kingdom and he established a new branch of science - radiology. In April 2002, the Supervisory Board voted Mr Klima a new chairman of the non-profitable organization and in February 2005, he became a new director of the hospital. ‘I had very mixed feeling for the first three or four months. The attitudes and thinking of employees...they did not believe it would go well. Many people wanted to leave. The first change appeared in May and June when the economic results caused that the negative moods started to be changed, ' Mr Jozef Klima explains. He was a director of the Slovak Food and Agricultural Inspection in Košice, a regional veterinary doctor and a specialist for nutrition and diet. ´ I have a twenty-year experience with the company management. Due to my family background, the matters of medicine are very close to me. People must understand that hospitals are trade organizations and they must behave this way. From this point of view, it does not matter if the director is a doctor or not. It is not necessary. I consider myself a manager, ´ he adds trying to explain my question whether the board of directors does not mind he is not human doctor. ´ I have two advantages. As I was the chairman of the non-profitable organization, I was enabled to monitor economic and social situation in the town and in the city. I was aware of illnesses and their development and I had a demographic analysis elaborated. The second advantage- we had nothing to start with, our organization is a new subject without outstanding debts and liabilities. Our aim is to avoid loss. The future is based on the number of patients of the region and I rely on the staff I work with, ´ he continues.


Revival of the High Tatras
The project concerning the completion and reconstruction of Tatranská Lomnica counts on the investment in the amount of four milliard Slovak crowns. Its authors want to discuss the project in public. They wish there was a wide cooperation.

When we hired the lines of the cable cars in Tatranská Lomnica and Smokovec, we obliged to ensure their development. Tourism belongs to one of the strategic priorities of J&T Group we are involved in. Our vision is to participate in the development of the High Tatras and make it an attractive mountainous place visited by many tourists in both winter and summer. We wanted to build up the region comparable to European mountain centres. We had a detailed and complex analysis elaborated- it deals with the impacts of the project on the environment in Tatranská Lomnica- EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment). We also responded to the competition announced by the Committee for the development of the High Tatras. The subject of the competition is to elaborate the project for the sustainable development of the High Tatras. Its aim is to get involve as many specialists as possible, we addressed a consulting company which cooperated with the outstanding experts from all the fields of the issues being processed.



There were forty-four of them
The revolt of the battalion reserve of the 71st troop of infantrymen from Trenčín in Kragujevac was the greatest and the most tragic revolt in the Austro-Hungarian Army. Captain Julius Spira was the most hated officer of the regiment, he was of a Jewish origin, and he came from Turiec. Colonel Arthur Marx was a Jew too. All four military canteens were owned by Jewish people. Slovaks considered them as usurers, businessmen and pub owners in Slovakia.

The 71st infantry troop was formed in Venice in 1860 after the historic battle of Custozzi (1859) based on the 8th, 12th and 54th troops. It was the biggest Slovak troop in the Austrian and later in the Austro- Hungarian Army. It participated in battle during the Prussian-Austrian War (1866), occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (1878), suppression of the uprising in Bosnia (1881- 1882), battles of Zagorji, Sornis, Glavatičevo and Ulok where the troop became famous for its bravery. Later, the day of the Battle of Ulok (26th February 1882) was celebrated as a commemorate day of the troop. Slovak troop was hated in Bosnia which had a significant influence on the events we will talk about later. The troop was based in Trenčín- the reason for its name.

There were 80% of Slovak soldiers there; they came from different regions- from Counties of Trenčín, Orava and Turiec. In August 1914, the troop fought in the east front, to be more precise, in the section of Halič. During the Battles of Rudnik and Lubila (26th - 28th August), the troop suffered from a terrible loss. At that time, the troop fought on the Russian front. A lot of soldiers were captured there in 1914- 1915. Later, after they had returned from the capture, just those soldiers became the main initiators of the revolt. In 1915, the troop was sent to the Italian front. The troop earned even better reputation in the area of Gorizia where the troop managed to fight through the area with 15 wire barriers during the intensive firing up to the staff of the Italian Army. From 1916 the part of the 71st troop, i.e. its battalion reserve in Serbian town of Kragujevac, a small sleeping town situated 140 kilometres in the south-east from Beograd.

Baroque sculptures in Orava
The period of baroque, dating back to the end of the 17th and the beginning of the 18th centuries, belongs to the rarely exhibited sculpture art in the collections of the Gallery in Orava, which celebrates its 40th anniversary. Having many folk features, baroque art is a typical peripheral art in Orava. It is tightly related to Christian religion. It was influenced by neighbouring Poland, mostly by Ludzmierz, a pilgrimage place upon the river Čierny Dunajec. Polish art already brought some baroque features to Orava in the second half of the 17th century. However, most of them were renaissance. From the developing point of view, it is an order adjusted to people’s needs. Concerning fine- art decorations, deictic figures, Biblical events, mostly the Holy Trinity, Mary Virgin, Passion of Jesus Christ and his crucifixion were depicted in paintings and sculptures. The exhibition will be open to the public on 8th January 2005.

3 times AD LIBITUM for Cyril Zeleňák
´Jazz is becoming a genre on the periphery. There have always been good bands and musicians in Slovakia and in the Czech Republic. Young jazzmen are wonderful but there are only a few of them. They have nowhere to play, no music scenes where they could present their music, where they could meet, exchange their opinions, jamming, ´ Cyril Zeleňák says.
I started with singing. When I reached the age when children start playing musical instruments, I wanted to play the guitar. My mum knew the conductor of the brass band; he was a teacher and gave private lessons. So she took me to him. When he saw I did not have one phalanx that I lost when I was a little child, he refused the possibility to play the guitar. I wanted to play saxophone but I was not possible either. Then I chose accordion, neither that was approved. He suggested me playing the royal musical instrument- trumpet. I was absolutely fed up with it but I loved music. So finally, I agreed with it.

´Lipa sings Lasica´s songs
A new CD by Milan Lasica and Peter Lipa was released in the EWP Company.

Although Milan Lasica is a famous representative of the theatre, he has always loved music. A great number of lyrics, he has written, are known only to specialist for Lasica´s works. As the author of the lyrics, he used to cooperate with Jaro Filip. Thus many songs were composed and performed by a couple - L+S.

Milan Lasica has written fifteen new texts for the songs over past two years. They are a reflection of a typical Lasica´s opinion about matters between the heaven and earth with more or less self-ironic humour. For instance a few titles - Neopúšťaj mesto (Do not leave the town), Mám čas(i have time), Mám túžbu(I have a desire), Chcem odísť(I wanna go), Dvadsať rokov som Ťa miloval(I have loved you for twenty years), Včera som bol u doktora (I was at the doctor’s yesterday), Music USA.

My era was so charming
Legendary ' black pearl’ visited Slovakia two times in a few months and he really enjoyed his stay here. Eduard Kukan, Ministry of the Foreign Affairs of the SR gave him a note in the official packing according to which his is forgiven for scoring the goal in Bratislava in 1965.

Eusébio, a famous and one of the best players in the history of football visited Slovakia two time in a few months. In March, he was a member of the Portuguese expedition for the qualification match- Slovakia vs. Portugal. A few months ago, he visited Slovakia for the second time; he was invited by Eduard Kukan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic.


 

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