June 2004

Independent politicians are not coming up roses!
Do Durinda and Rusko ignore the Mayor of Košice?
How many letters have you written him?
What do you want to discus with the Prime Minister?
Are those the key projects for the city development
How would you solve the problem of missing motorway?
Let´s go back to the industrial park in Pereš. How can the Government or Mr Rusko help the city?
Do you agree with the opinion that the city stagnates?
Sales of urban forests were being discussed the other days. Is this issue closed?
When can we expect the boom in the city development?
How do you understand investors´ departure? Are you the one who obstructs them?
Day of Europe
“Slovak President is Croatian”
´You’re the first Slovak journalists´
Two sisters married to two Gašparovi´s brothers
They fight against cataract (and for the change of the suffering system, too)
200 operations up to now
To go home in three hours
How to get out from the vicious circle?
The affectivity has (also) its influence
And what is the poem....
Each his word has its worth, content and deep sense.
A verse, a speculative philosophy. Master, how does the poem bear ?1
What’s usually the inspiratory impulse for you?
Before the most difficult we are dumb.”
You seem settled and relaxed. What is the source of your repose?
The Queen of Adriatic Coast
Wax figurine Museum
Come back to yourself, Europe!
Europe must have its soul
The Cruel revenge of the Russian bear
The Spirit of the fabulous Atlantis appeared again
Key to a secret resolving
Bonton for each day - greetings
The greeting and the hand’s kissing
Viktor Šefík
Return performance of the piano concert in Kiev
Hockey hits from the oversea

Independent politicians are not coming up roses!
We have been in the European Union for a month already. Step by step we are getting used to the feeling that we are ´behind the line´ and we are trying to persuade ourselves that everything will get better and better. We can travel to Hungary or Poland only with our ID cards. However, we need our passports to travel to the West yet. We change our car signs for European ones and we want to believe that we are ´fully-fledged´ citizens.
A lack of interest in the first election to the European parliament in our history reveals that we are not keen on elections at all. Disputable surveys and some politicians can prove it. They behave as if nothing was happening and claim that apart form Belgium where the election is obligatory, the turnout is not higher than 20-35 per cent in other European countries. Politologists and sociologists maintain that we are already tired of elections. Those, more reasonable citizens keep thinking about the information concerning the EU and European parliament, whether there is enough information, whether we understand what is going on and what we want the EU to do for us. Those, more sceptic citizens just wave aside and say that our fourteen MPs will not force themselves- or they personal interests only. Anyway, do we understand what it is all about? What does Slovakia want and expect?
If we read some boring slogans displayed on billboards, we find out that every single political party being paid from our taxes follows particular interest only. Left wing ones want a social Europe in Europe, where financial flows, and economy are governed by global right wing investors… Liberal Christian Democrats and Liberals (SDKÚ) desire for strong and happy Slovakia and its regions (apart from Bratislava). Well, Slovakia should be happy that it is still breathing at least. Conservative Christian Democrats (KDH) are babbling about better life and order, they want cultural sovereignty of Slovakia, sovereignty of national parliaments and a preamble of the European constitution referring to the Christian origin of Europe. Modern Populars (HZD- U) want something similar. However, they refuse federal conception of the EU and they want more money from structural funds to be used in our regions. Liberals claim hypocritically that ´in Slovakia, act by heart, ´but they have not said a word about this heart, what it looks like and what is really in it, how they would like Europe to look like, etc. Hungarian either liberal or radical nationalists are happy that Hungarian land will reunify. Moreover, what does S-HZD or KSS want? Only their leaders know.
It is obvious that we are in chaos as usual. We have problems to perceive a man with his culture, education and new job opportunities, to see Europe in next 5 or 10 years. Many voters in Western Europe will not attent the election because they hate bureaucratic system and globalization. Part of voters from Central and Eastern Europe will not vote because they are not able to choose better of two evils. Those, who will vote in the election, have no choice apart form the partial point of view. Independent politicians are not coming up roses!
Robert Matejovic
Editor in Chief

Do Durinda and Rusko ignore the Mayor of Košice?
´If I was really the one interfering and my resignation was beneficial to Košice, I would be able to take steps to benefit Košice. I am not fixed to my mayor chair for good,´ declares Zdenko Trebua, Mayor of Košice.

JUDr. Zdenko Trebua (1955) left wing Mayor of Košice who has been the Head of the second biggest city in Slovakia for six years, finds it very difficult to communicate with M.Dzurinda, Prime Minister and P.Rusko, Minister of Economy. He has asked these government officials to meet them in person a few times by telephone or in writing, but he has not succeeded yet. As he says, it is not because of him but because of solving investment problems of the city. ´Information coming from the lobby surrounding the governing coalition, SDKU ( SDKU- Slovak Democratic and Christian Union) and ANO ( ANO- Aliancia nového obana, Alliance of a New Citizen) from both regional levels, i.e. regions of Košice and Bratislava claim that as far as this ´Bolshevik´ is the mayor, the Government will not provide Košice with a single crown from the central funds. I am considered an interfering element. I can not prove this information objectively because I have not met the Prime Minister yet, ´ says Z.Trebua who was the candidate of the coalition consisting of ANO, Party of Democratic Alternative (SDA), SMK and SMER ( see Dimenzie 11/ 2002).

Mr. Trebuľa, why are you not able to meet Mr.Dzurinda, Prime Minister? What is the matter?
Prime Minister must be asked these questions. Whenever I wrote his a letter containing the exact theme to be discussed, his clerks ´forwarded´ it to another officials and nothing would move forward. Last time I wrote him a letter where I applied for a meeting without stating any concrete themes.

How many letters have you written him?
It is not important. I only want to solve the problems of the city not my political opinions. Is it common and usual procedure in democratic states when Prime Minister visits Košice and does not meet the Mayor but only the Mayors of City Districts who are politically closest to him? Do you find it standard that the City Magistrate is not even informed about his visits? Is it correct that we usually get to know about his presence in Košice after his arrival? It is at least unusual procedure in standard democratic systems.

What do you want to discus with the Prime Minister?
Our city and the whole region of Košice are financially under dimensioned and are still dependent on help from our Government. On the other hand, we have a few projects that can help us. For example erection of an industrial park in the area of Pereš and construction of a fast road from Košice to Hungarian frontiers by which the city would be connected to the motorway net in Hungary. I do not intent to discuss these issues only with our Prime Minister but also with P.Rusko, Minister of Economy.

Are those the key projects for the city development?
Yes. At present, we have only few concerns of manufacturing industry. The proposed park with the area of 190 hectares is focused on ecologically harmless production of various systems of high technologies (computer systems, software, logistic centres of companies in air and car transports, service centres), use of the potential of specialists and graduates from Technical University. This park, which will provide 1800 job opportunities, was introduced at the international investment conferences organized by the Centre for Economic Development of the U.S.Steel Košice in Milan, Brussels, and Oslo, Berlin and in London. Other potential investors conditioned their investments in the region by our connection to the motorway. Due to its absence, they did not sign a tentative agreement with us.

How would you solve the problem of missing motorway?
We want to solve it by the connection of Košice to the motorway net in Hungary by its interconnection in Austria, Italy, Germany and Bratislava as well. I do not expect the motorway net to reach Košice by its north route earlier than in 8 - 10 years. The Government does not judge the possibility to finance the construction of the motorway by any private investors. The question is ´ should we wait with our arms folded or should we do something about it? We have decided to go for the second alternative. In November, Hungarians will open another part of the motorway by which they will connect Miskolc to the motorway to Budapest. They have built a few bypasses of high quality. Thus, Košice will be only 50 kilometres far from the motorway.

You discussed the construction of the highway from Košice to Hungarian frontiers (11 km) with Mr. P.Prokopovič, Minister of Transport. At the end of last year, the Parliament approved 100 millions for its realization…
We agreed on it with Mr.Prokopovi and I was told it would not be a problem. The reality is completely different; nothing has changed since then. In addition, even those 100 millions will end up somewhere else.

Let´s go back to the industrial park in Pereš. How can the Government or Mr Rusko help the city?
This area is situated very close to the international airport, fast road communication and a broad-gauge train track towards Ukraine. We need help in two areas: having obtained funds, we would erect technical infrastructure, engineering nets and sale of 34 hectares of land possessed by State Slovak Land Fund. While the negotiation in Bratislava was held, we were shocked by the price we were announced by the representatives of the Fund. The price set for one quadratic meter is 400 Slovak Crowns. We concern about the foundation to proceed in the same way as in case of selling the land in other industrial parks.

In regional election two coalition parties - ANO and SMK supported you. In what ways do they support your efforts on regional and state levels?
I do not feel any support in the City Council of 80 members, mostly representatives of KDH-SDKU (45 members). I am aware of being an oppositional politician from the political point of view. Parties ANO and SMK are in the opposition, too. I am worried that ´politicking´ wins over general interests of public. They are concerned as far as it is personal or partial politics. However, we should be concerned about the city development. Slovakia has not matured enough to solve the problems together and from unbiased point of view in order to benefit public interests and citizens.

In March 2004, you initiated ´ revolt ´ against the Government in writing an open letter written by the representatives of regional and local government in regions of Košice and Prešov. Apart from you, M.Benč (SDĽ) Mayor of Prešov, chairmen of VUC R.Bauer (KDH) and P.Chudík (ĽÚ) signed it. In this letter, you appealed to the Government to ´to find suitable portfolio for permanent development of Eastern Slovak Region together at the negotiating table…´
This letter was a reply to some inappropriate expressions of Pavol Rusko, Minister of Economy and leader of ANO and to increasing criticism of Brussels that the Government does not solve the problem of unequal development in the regions of Slovakia and their underdevelopment in comparison with Bratislava.

Let me remind what Minister Rusko said in Spišská Nová Ves: ´I am deeply sorry that it is so difficult to get any investors here (i.e. to Eastern Slovakia). Everyone asks where the motorway ends. Who would come here as long as they could stay in Nitra? Nobody would be so absent-minded. There exists life around the highway. If there is no highway, it is only the country and people buy their weekend houses there.´
Although the content of his statement is in accordance with that of mine, I had to react. The Minister represents the government and resort, which should be primarily supporting the regional development and minimizing differences among them. Moreover, some foreign investors operating in the East of Slovakia and in Košice questioned me. They found Rusko´s words very offensive. They asked me whether they are ´so stupid´ when they came to Košice and to the region…

In your letter your proposed to the Government to negotiate with you about the priorities relating regional development until 2008 within NUTS II (Slovakia- East): construction of highway part D1 Važec- Prešov and speed motorway R4 ( Košice- Hungarian frontiers) or about the realization of another technological-industrial park Prešov-Košice.´ These areas are considered to be the basic pillars in creation of suitable conditions for the arrival of foreign investors to our region, ´the letter says. What was the reaction of the Government?
I have not received a statement of the Government. They have not made any officially.

Can Rusko´s meeting with M.Benč, Mayor of Prešov and P.Chudík, Chairman of Region of Prešov be considered as the reaction of the Government?
I do not know what they were discussing. I contacted Minister Rusko by telephone. Unsuccessfully. I asked my old friends and acquaintances working for him to help me. However, he made no attempt to meet me. That is the matter of fact.

Your letter was supported neither by any political parties nor by Members of Parliament voted in Eastern Slovakia, or in Košice. How do you understand that?
An official communication with the MPs is not as good as it should be. I have to review my acting as well. At any case, we must get the MPs involved in solving the problems of our region. However, I realize that they are subordinated to the particular discipline of the party and its centralism.

One says that you are very close to SMER political party. Neither this political party supported you nor your open letter…
It is true that I am closer to parliamentary opposition. I do not hide that SMER is very close to me in terms of their programme. It is interesting that they endeavour to unify left wing political parties including SDA I am the member of. I try to communicate and solve some questions as well as the MPs of this party (SMER). Their situation is very complicated because they are in opposition.

So, it seems you have remained nearly alone in the fight against centralism of Bratislava. Your fellow- compatriots stay silent in Bratislava; they have dived their heads into sand and wait… What will you do?
The state must sustain on very firm basis on regional level as well, it must be based on strong and big cities, which are the centres of trade, industry, education and health care. If we do not manage to build strong centres of that kind away from Bratislava, however some cities such as Žilina, Nitra and Trnava are reaching this position; it will not be profitable for Slovakia. Positions of Banská Bystrica, Prešov and Košice have already begun to weaken. Our country needs political parties that govern it and to follow the principles and not to develop particular interests but in accordance with overall economic and social vision for next 12 to 20 years.

In March 2004, Viktor Orbán, former Prime Minister of Hungary visited Košice. He also said that Košice is the city important for the development of Northeast Hungary in the European Union… Isn't the boycott relating your personality and on Košice influenced by this fact?
I do not think so. Whoever thinks in terms of isolated form in the period of integration of Slovakia into the European Union is ridiculous. I am begging those entities still thinking in terms of boundaries to wake up at last. After the year 2007, we will be inside of Schenghen frontiers and we will be discussing the integration to the currency union. Nowadays we are already in the surrounding being influenced by free movement of capital, goods, services and labour power. So what should we be discussing? Košice has always played the role of the metropolitan city in the area, not only historically from the view of the former Hungarian Kingdom, but also for the southeast part of Poland, the northeast part of Hungary and the west Ukraine and for Eastern Slovakia. In terms of history, Košice has always competed with Bratislava for its position within the Hungarian Kingdom. Bratislava had been a coronation city for the time being because it was close to Vienna. In the 17th century (During Turkish besieges of Budin), our town was the capital of the Hungarian Kingdom for 15 years. It had been considered as the second most important centre in the Hungarian Kingdom by the half of 18th century.

If the state were fiscally decentralized, would the funds obtained by re-division of taxes enough for the city? Would it be enough not to rely on help of the Government in terms of developing programmes?
It is long-term process. Money will be always on demand. In case of fiscal decentralization paternalistic approach of the centre, which is so significant will disappear. Our rough estimate shows that if the debts of the city do not minimize, we will have paid our obligations for at least next 15 years. We lowered the debt of the city by 800 million Slovak Crowns, consolidated all funds of the city. However, we will pay the interests of nearly 82 millions this year; it will be 72 millions the next year. Although the tendency is decreasing, we would really need this money. Anyway, I think the conditions having been changed after the tax reforms would make the city and the whole region more dynamic. When we counted the data, it was about 20 per cent from the budget instead of current 7 per cent. It was a huge leap. On the other hand, we would lose all donations relating city transport. Nevertheless, we would manage to solve this problem within the tax returns from real estate tax and road tax.

Košice has had the image of a stagnating city. Better-informed citizens know that primarily we were solving the complicated issues of restructuralisation of city debts. You have inherited all debts from Rudolf Schuster. It is said that you protect him and do not want to appeal him in public to take his responsibility for the debts, which started when he was the Mayor of Košice…
I am neither his protector nor defender. I will never condescend to make excuses or blame someone else. Although I am a left wing politician, I have had to act as a right wing one since I held the post of Mayor of Košice. It is impossible to act the other way. The team of specialists at the City Magistrate managed to lower the costs as much as possible and we started to manage reasonably. We try to gain as much property as we can. The city needs a pragmatic solution, not ideological. I cannot operate as a left wing politician in the field of economy, because we do not have any funds. Whoever thinks or feels that my work… is based on socialistic economical conception is completely wrong. I have been trying to act in order to cover and respect economical rules.

Do you agree with the opinion that the city stagnates?
I will be more precise- it stagnates in terms of investments. One must be aware of the past and current situation. Did the citizens of Košice notice any movement backwards? I do not think so. We were able to fulfil the basic functions and services of the city. I am saying that because we did not have enough finances for those purposes. We have found various rationalization precautions, started to economize in the other way, we have reorganized the inner system of the city and we have finished buildings, reconstruction of open and dug streets. Many things of culture and sports citizens of Košice were used to, survived. Except from football, our city is in the highest leagues. Team sports remained and they moved forward. I try to solve the issue of football with one group. The problem is that we do not own a stadium into which we would have entered with our possession. The city had sold the stadium to the former VSŽ who obliged to repair and renew the stadium. We managed to obtain the unfinished ice- hockey stadium that we want to finish. It is a pity that the state does not want to help us, because ice hockey is our apple in our eye and the whole state should get involved. The Government supported only the erection of the National Tennis Centre in Bratislava and the Football Training Centre in Senec. We proposed to build up the National Ice-Hockey Centre from our stadium. We have received not reply yet.

Has Košice already gone through the difficult period of its financial and economic consolidation?
I hope so. He city stayed aback only in terms of investments because it does not have enough money. After a long and difficult period we have gone through, after stabilization we expect the city to obtain the investment rating in zone B in next few weeks. When I took up my position, the city was in cross-default. Exhausting work is not visible and is usually very difficult to explain it to the public. The most significant is the fact that the city has acquired the banks and financial institutions ratings again. It is time to move our city forward. We could have sold all the properties and nobody would have said a word. Nevertheless, it did not happen and nowadays it seems to be a great advantage in comparison with other Slovak cities and towns. It is obvious that there are many lobbying groups operating in the area. The fact is that the properties had been sold by banks by 2002, not by the city, which used its right to deposit at the time, when it was not able to pay its debts. These properties were being sold at the auction not directly to purchasers.

Sales of urban forests were being discussed the other days. Is this issue closed?
The representatives of the city and myself had never discussed selling the woods but only its part. That was the time we were solving our debts. My approach was rather pragmatic- try to avoid selling real estates in the city, which contribute approximately 50-60 millions every year, but rather try to sell the part of our woods. Habsburg bidders from Luxemburg placed the best bids. They intended to buy 3800 hectares of wood for 365 million Slovak Crowns and we wanted to increase the price during our negotiations. This amount of money would have helped the city those days. There was no agreement because the MPs´ clubs of KDH and SDKU pursuit the idea of not selling our ´ national treasure´. Finally, we did not have to sell the woods and the new loans and credits solved the situation to which we refinanced existing ones in more suitable conditions. Banks are also interested in helping our city financially; it is obvious they plan to improve the reputation of Košice, too.

When can we expect the boom in the city development?
Interest in Košice and the whole region is increasing. I expect it to have a growing tendency in next months. We have prepared projects for withdrawals from structural funds and a cohesive fund. We were given the finances to build up the town's drainage in 11 city parts; we have already received the funds. Another project is for the reconstruction and completion of a sewerage plant for wastewater. Moreover, we have projects in the areas of sports, culture prepared. We are planning to renew the children's railway, rebuild the old swimming pool to the sport centre, to use the underground spaces of the Archaeological museum ´Lower Gate´ for the purposes of tourism. We are preparing the project to obtain the funds for erection the integrated transport system; we are finishing the project for the renewal and construction of tram rail tracks. We show a great afford to succeed in the mentioned projects. The city is the main representative to fulfil all these tasks as well as it is collaborating in many other projects- for instance it is a partner in erection of the new incinerator for dangerous substances and wastage in Košice. We have already prepared a new strategy for new accommodation in the woods surrounding the city. Plans I have mentioned already and many others are the part of our plans for the continual economic and social development of the city that will be approved by the City Council in June this year.

Some of entrepreneurial groups claim that the city misses the integrating personality able to be opened to entrepreneurs and projects focused on the city development. What do you think about it?
Reasonable projects orientated to benefit the larger entity, which would not only show the attempt to buy the property worth a few millions for nothing, were mostly supported. I admit that the communication with entrepreneurial public should be strengthened more on the magistrate level. I do not feel a lack of that kind of communication myself, because I know majority of more important entrepreneurs in Košice. The fact is which executives make complaints and act in the same way. I have my opinion about some of them and I do not like the strategy of buy-and-sell entrepreneurship.
Košice has gone through the same genesis. Disintegration of the former VSŽ entrepreneurial group caused that many people had become wealthy before Americans arrived. They had left the city and had invested in other regions of Slovakia or even abroad.
Furthermore, in the 1990s Košice lost its very important food production sphere (a meat factory, two milk dairies and a brewery) that employed many people. Only poultry processing, a bakery and a mill remained (It had been deserted for two years and then bought by Hungarian investors), production of alcoholic and soft drinks, engineering works that lowered the employment rate radically, road and engineering plants.

How do you understand investors´ departure? Are you the one who obstructs them?
No way. I know many of them. I would say it is the other way round. They decided so that they saw their chance away from Košice. They did not do a lot of business after the fall of the Eastern Iron Works (VSŽ). By American encounter to this region, many Slovak subjects tied to VSŽ disappeared. In very strict competitive conditions, other partners and suppliers replaced them. The question is ´why´?

The communication between the city and the Government failed. Is it the reason to start thinking of your resignation? It is not a secret that the Government and City coalition force you to abdicate. It is said that compromising materials are being searched…
I admit this alternative as well. Because I have to realize what will be better and more suitable for Košice in the current situation. If I was really the one interfering and my resignation was beneficial to Košice, I would be able to take steps to benefit Košice. I am not fixed to my mayor chair forever.

Day of Europe
On 1st May 2004, most of Eastern Europe unified with Western Europe. Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia extended the European Union. They became its new members. Now the Union has 25 members. On the occasion of this historically significant extension of the Union many European institutions, national governments and other institutions organized celebrations on the Day of Europe- for example in Brussels, Strasbourg and Dublin.


“Slovak President is Croatian”
His distant relatives and fellow-countrymen expect Ivan Gašparovi, Slovak President to visit his grandparents´ homeland during his first visit to Croatia.
(Either official or non-official).

In April 2004, the hit number one was neither the return of Serbian refugees to Croatia nor extradition of Croatian Generals to Haag what were the crucial conditions set by Brussels for the further negotiation about integration of Croatia to the EU. However, the hit number one was the election of Slovak President. After Ivan Gašparovi´s surprising victory, Croatian media brought enormous reports about his Croatian origin, political career (They described him as a technocrat and an unknown politician over Europe.) and his presidential campaign.

Thanks to his Croatian origin, the new Slovak President drew more attention than his defeated candidates- Vladimír Meiar or Eduard Kukan did. Stjepan Mesi, Croatian President was among the first who congratulated Mr.Gašparovi and immediately invited him to visit his predecessors ´good old homeland´. In Zagreb, many jokes have been already told, such as Croatia has two presidents in the world and Slovakia is not really Slovakia, because while their previous president was ´German´, the new one is ´Croatian´. ´I. Gašparovič can revive present Slovak-Croatian relationships in politics, economy and culture anyway. I think that Slovakia can both directly and indirectly help Croatia on its way to the European Union, ´said Ninoslav Bri, Director of Hiron Company. We met him in Zagreb.

´You’re the first Slovak journalists´
During our stay in Croatia, we also visited the homeland of Gašparovi´s grandparents near Crikvenica, famous tourist centre of Kvarner. Approximately 12 kilometres to the north in the district of Grižanje there are two small villages hidden in the woods- Kostelj and Bareti, where Tomislav Gašparovi and Agnesa Bolješi, our president’s grand parents were born. In the villages above which the perpendicular slopes of stone cliffs and the ruins of Frankopans´ watch castle of, a famous noble Croatian stock stand high, there live approximately 100 people, especially retired ones.
´ Many houses are deserted or rebuilt as weekend houses for wealthier Croatians from Rijeka and Crikvenica. The whole surrounding is very suitable for cycling and climbing the rocks. There is a lake nearby; ´ says Anica Lušii, a granddaughter of Katarina Gašparovi, the sister of I.Gašparovi´s granddaughter, who lives in the neighbourhood, in the nearby village of Kamenjak. We met her at Ivan Petrovi´s house in Kostelje where we were searching for the native house of President’s grandmother. ´You must go to the house that is below ours. Nevertheless, we do not know whether the owners are in now because the Bolješič family do not live there, ´the Petrovi family explains. Immediately they invite us to their house for a cup of coffee and offered us home-made rakija (Rakija is a typical alcoholic drink.) very warmly and kindly. Before we sat down, they had already phoned their relatives and acquaintances: ´ Slovak journalists have just arrived and they are looking for the house of Slovak President´s grandparents. Come quickly, they need some information. ´ After the first glass we learnt that: ´You are the first Slovak journalists who have arrived here…´

Two sisters married to two Gašparovi´s brothers

´Your President´s grandmother had four sisters ( Margareta, Katarina, Jelena and Lucia) and a brother Martin. She was born and lived in the same house. There were only two rooms, a kitchen, chamber and a pigsty of the smaller size, ´ explains Anica Lušii while we are observing well- reconstructed family house belonging to Agnesa Bolješi. ´The Bolješič family was the masons´ family of a good reputation, they went away to work throughout the entire Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy. Later, my grandmother Katarina and her sister Agnesa married Gašparovič´s brothers. After the wedding, Agnesa moved to the village of Baretič, where she lived with her husband Tomislav Gašparovič. They had four children. After World War I, they moved to former Czechoslovakia. Their son, Vladimír- Ivan Gašparovič´s father went with them as well. ´
Tomislav Gašparovic´s family settled down in Kalinovo, the county of Luenec, where his grandfather worked as a worker at the railways. President’s father Vladimír, who taught Ivan to speak Croatian at the end of his life ( His son asked him to.), was the professor and later the headmaster of the Secondary Grammar School in Bratislava.
´Our families did not meet very often. Czechoslovakia had been closed for many years. President’s aunt Ružica visited us more frequently. I remember that in 1963, grandmother Agnesa and her son Vladimír came to visit us. They brought some photos with them. When communism finished in your country, even the president started to visit Croatia more often. He spent his holiday here. He usually met Marko Balen, Martin Bolješič´s great grandson, his grandmother’s brother. Marko is a master at the Academy of Sciences and Art and he is a lecturer at College in Rijeka, ´Anica Lušii continues.
Furthermore, as she said there still live the relatives of the third generation, Mila Crni in Kostelje (Marko Balen´s mother), Anica Mikliová, Margaret Bolješi´s granddaughter in Triblja and Dragica Matiová, Katarina Bolješi´s granddaughter in Zagreb.

They fight against cataract (and for the change of the suffering system, too)
„The operation doesn’t last more than 15 or 20 minutes and it is also possible to manage it in less than eleven. Patient is able to go home three hours after coming at our workplace. The day after he comes again with his eye without plaster and we are able to get him into his full-value life,“ says well-known ophthalmologist František Dabóczi from Košice.

There still aren’t many private medical institutions, built „on a green meadow“, in Slovakia. One of the few is a company „3F, Ltd., Košice“ successfully working despite of a fate, legislation, health insurance companies and also the colleagues from the public sector (still working on the socialist’s philosophy principals of medical care) contrariety. It is the first private clinic of one-day microsurgery in the East Slovakia and the second in the republic.

The idea of establishing this kind of institution started ten years ago. Its „father“ is, at that time senior consultant of the Ophthalmic Clinic of the Military Hospital in Košice, MUDr. František Dabóczi. After the experiences from abroad (Finland, Sweden, Canada, the USA, Germany) he said that from all the complex of the eye diseases are the problems of cataract the individual unit.
„At that time there were starting many clinics specialized in cataract surgery all around the world. They were logically detached from wards which were dedicated to eye diseases in the whole. I tried to enforce this model in the Military Hospital but, objectively, it couldn’t work. So I declared that I wouldn’t create what has already been created and that I would do what has already been done nearly all around the world,“ reminisces MUDr. F. Dabóczi.

200 operations up to now

the one-day eye surgery first started in Scandinavia. Then, from the north of Europe it spread very quickly to all the west Europe and oversea. Comparing it with those days experience the new system wasn’t only significantly cheaper but also more effectual and less difficult for patient.
Even if this system worked in most European countries at that time, it was very soon for Slovakia either. Whole project remained on the paper. In 2000 the similar project arose in the capital city. The Ophthalmologic Microsurgery Center in Bratislava was an innovator of one-day ophthalmologic-surgery in Slovakia. In collaboration with this center it was due to establish similar center also in Košice. But it wasn’t possible to realize it for money deficiency.
In the end of last year there was the new project created on which participated also two of well-known ophthalmologists from Košice, MUDr. František Dabóczi and MUDr. Jozef Ferko. In unbelievable ten weeks there were able to put into service the first clinic of one-day ophtalmo-surgery in a temporal premises in the center of the town in the east of Slovakia in which they first eliminated cataract in last December.
„The interest of the part of patients exceeded our expectations and possibilities provided in our temporal premises. So we had to look for more suitable place where we could definitely stay in. We have found them in a building where were liqueurs produced before in the habitation Barca in Košice. We operated here in these new premises in the beginning of march. In short time in this new clinic we have already eliminated nearly one hundred cataracts, totally it was more than two hundred,“ says F. Dabóczi.

To go home in three hours

The cataract is one of the most frequent causes of the blindness. Fundamentally it is consistent tarnishing of the proteinaceous eye-lens materials with the result of loosing their depth of visibility. There exists only one way of adequate therapy which brings back to the patient the quality of his visibility and guarantees his early come-back to the ordinary life - operation. It may seem unbelievably but the cataract elimination is the most frequent operation.
„We realize it in a local narcosis. We get through to the front chamber straight through the cornea by ophtalmotomy of length 2,6 mm. We eliminate the front part of lens saccule and then we fluidize roily lens material. Then we fulfil the „empty“ saccule with surgical implant of rolled artificial intra-ocular lens which is immediately unrolled. We then suture the cut as usual. Whole operation doesn’t take more than 15 - 20 minutes and we are also able to make it in less than 11 minutes. Patient has to relax for few minutes after this operation in special room and after stabilization of the basic functions is able to move to the waiting room where he has to stay 1,5 or 2 hours. After the absolute relief with sedatives (approximately in three hours after his arrival to our clinic) the patient is able to go home. Next day he comes to the checkup with the eye without the sticking-plaster. Ninety per cent of healing is in progress in first five days after the operation. We bring the patient back to the full-value life in one month,“ assures F.Dabóczi.
The significant results of these two ophthalmologists from Košice are supported by the most modern surgical instruments. The heard of the operating room is the faco-emulsifying instrument (which fluidize roily lens materials), used by the best ophtalmo-surgery clinics in Germany and Switzerland.

How to get out from the vicious circle?

The price of the operation , including the complete pre-operative medical examination with the biometry and a consultation costs more than 13 thousand Sk. Whole operation is paid by the patient himself.
„The basic problem is that even if we have the license we aren’t included into the net medical institutions. So the health insurance companies can not sign contracts with us and whole financial tax overlies on patient’s shoulders. The state is afraid of expanding of this net because all around the world the health service is a very profitable business. To some extent it is a valid doubt because there is the law which says that the health insurance companies have to sign the contract with every clinic which is in the net. And in this case it is very difficult to regulate it. We live in a basic conflict - on one side there is an ancestral socialistic system of health service and on the other side there is a request of effective providing of medical care. I cannot realize how it is possible to joint this effectively.“
According to F. Dabóczi the Slovak government enforces laws which should change this unendurable status. But there are still many obstructions in this process which have been slowing down it. On one hand there is an opposition which agrees with the principal, that the system has to be changed, but enforces absolutely different mechanism. The unwillingness to change the situation feel then private doctors also inside of the state medical system, which is probably satisfied with this status (from long-term point of view unendurable). František Dabóczi gives the recipe how to get from this vicious circle, in one breathe: „First it is necessary to remove the article about absurd non-paid medical care from the Constitution. Everybody pays his part through the taxes and tax payments so it isn’t non-paid. The state should guarantee only the basic medical care, which is full-paid by the health insurance companies. So it is necessary to cut the state medical net maybe up to the one third of the current status. The rest has to apply for their places on the market. There is a need of showing the quality in the system. Patient has to be given the chance to choose and he has to pay extra for the over-standard care. All clinics (including disestablished or full private ones) must have the same access to the common sources.“

The affectivity has (also) its influence

If it worked, the patient would pay for the operation which costs 13 thousand Sk only 2.600 Sk and the health insurance company would pay the rest. In nowadays system (when the health insurance companies can sign the contrast just with the clinics which are in the net of health institutions) patient must pay the 100 per cent of costs connected to the operation or treatment to the institution which is mot in the „net“.
„The state medical care nowadays gets 80 per cent of our price from the insurance companies but employs seven times more employees who have the same output as the private clinics. And produces more and more detriments. It is absolutely ineffective losing the join financial sources and that’s why it is necessary to change it. Because also the affectivity decides about the success,“ argues F. Dabóczi. The clinic of one-day ophthalmic surgery contains of six member team -two doctors, three nurses and a manager. They don’t employ the anesthetist- they „rent“ him only for the operations.
„This is also the way how to save one part of costs. In this team we are able to eliminate up to 1700 cataracts a year. As we are very specialized clinic, in case of some addition we cooperate with the higher institutions, concretely with Prof. Milan Izák in Banská Bystrica. We communicate very intensively with a result of the lucrative collaboration for both parts. We also have very good contacts with our colleagues from Czech Republic, who present total world elite in the area of cataract eliminating.“

And what is the poem....
”The human being cannot exist normally without Hope. Without hope that the clumsy Good much more slowly than the freaking fast Badness, finally achieves and “turtle” is going to be in the finish line earlier than the rabbit,” says maestro Milan Rúfus.

Each his word has its worth, content and deep sense.
The gift of spirit, which follow him on the way of living, jumps over to his unique creation, too. However he is fully realizing where does this valuable gift come from. It helps him not only negotiate difficult meanders of his private life, but also reports to each his verse. Equally he is respectable in an academic area as well as by the general reader. He calls the attention of everyone, whoever has the feeling and sense of values. Continuing values, modest, calm, meek human - big writer. Writer, poet, essayist, translator, teacher. Bard of our poetry - Milan Rufus (1928).

A verse, a speculative philosophy. Master, how does the poem bear ?
The fiction - that is only one thing, which is the gift for it. An assumption which isn’t supported by the labor, is only another alternative of biblical buried talent. How is the poem made, it is necessary to learn patiently , none of the contemporary hypothetical truancy doesn’t have a chance here . But attention To command a deftness how does it work - neither that it still isn’t the victory. The poem doesn’t mean only to speak, but also to have what to say. These two things have to be in equivalent partnership.

What’s usually the inspiratory impulse for you?
I don’t use any drug, which would encourage me for the poem as mastiff . I use to wait for the poem . Or contrariwise - waited by myself it wont come.

Sincere poem uncovers also a big part of authors inside. Have you ever had the obstructions to uncover , what most people regard as their personal, maybe the most private core of themselves ?
Thing, what you are speaking about, shouldn’t be a problem neither for the writer nor for his utterance. The problem of the poem, as well as the problem of human word at all, is that, the spirit, bottom of knowledge is unspeakable. That` s why I not could but had to write in my ultimate poem of the book “akanka”, : “ I spoke and I gave and didn’t give /On donated land. /I didn’t say the most difficult / We are dumb before the most difficult .”
Before the most difficult we are dumb.”

You seem settled and relaxed. What is the source of your repose?
Look-out the paradoxes. There is no more difficult matter, then is a meaningful simplicity - so many times there is no restless matter, then is the meaningful steadiness. Such steadiness is a relief, struggled in the storm. And, as it belong to the rainbow, it is coming after the storm.

You was born and grew in a heavenly temple of the countryside of High Tatras mountains, in village Závažná Poruba. What was the landscape of your childhood?
I was born to the cradle, which I would change neither for canopy of the little prince. It is absolutely, as you said, heavenly. Its northerly border are Liptovske Hole and Západné Tatry. On the east continuously traverse to the completion of The High Tatras, to which from their visual swerve reign Krivan. To the ultimate expiration I´ll remember, how his side thrust cap caught the last already pink sun rays from the sunset.
South „back” of the cradle is a moderate massif of Low Tatras. In its very heart stands the immense Green Pyramid Poludnice, called this way because I the midday there stands the sun above it, so as shepherds and agricultors in the fields know, what’s the time. That was after all, repeated in all the surrounding villages by the bells. This fold always stroke me as a mid-.closed God’s palm of hand, from which my moving and melancholy childhood pecked up the crumbs, soft and harder. And as at some things in life the happiness is needed - I had it in my parents worth this name.



The Queen of Adriatic Coast
Exclusive Riviera of Opatija is celebrating its 160th birthday of organized tourism. It offers plenty of natural contrasts and attractions. It is an ideal place for solvent middle and upper classes searching for Mediterranean and Alps climate.

you want to experience and enjoy noble atmosphere of the former Austrian-Hungarian monarchy in Croatian Kvarner, you should visit twelve-kilometre-long Riviera of Opatija, the queen of tourism in the north of the Adriatic Coast and in the past, it was the most popular place among many aristocratic families from Europe and Asia. Opatija, Lovran, Ika, Iii (one of the largest ports in Croatia), Medvedje and Mošenika Draga are its most beautiful centres.

It had been a boring, peaceful area with small anglers’ towns. By 1844 when the influential businessman Iginio Scarpa from Rijeka built a luxurious villa Angioline in Opatija, there had been only 35 old houses surrounding St Jacob Church (700 years old) and Benedictine Monastery.



Villas of Lovran
Comfort that is worth to pay for

contemporary Opatija is typical for its luxurious hotels, nearby Lovran is smaller and typical for its exquisite villas built at the end of 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. They rim the coastal promenade on the Riviera of Opatija. It belongs to the most precious architectural inheritance due to its elegance and garden architecture. They were being built at the time when the history of tourism had just started as a health centre for middle and upper classes from the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy.
These villas are the results of philosophical project that had been following the only aim: to create an oasis of peace, love and friendship below this natural park Uka. The world which Francis Joseph I trusted so much…



Wax figurine Museum
One figurine in a period costume stood according to seriousness from 150 to 250 thousand Sk. Financial resources were obtained from private people, who lend them to the company supporting the service, with suitable interest and economic return.

In Košice came into an existence the first and so far the only museum of „wax” figurines in Slovakia. It takes place in the historical downtown, in Urban´s tower near the St. Elizabeth Cathedral. In the object there are 23 figurines from the history of Košice and the eastern Slovakia, arranged on four floors. On the fifth one there is an individual exposition of Jozef cardinal Tomka called „From journeys”. It introduces „the journey” of this exceptional personality, near assistant of Jean Paul II, the prefect of Congregation for the evangelization of the nations. Every figurine, in its typical posture, is set according to a scene, which represents the certain historical occasion, and where the personality generated an activity. The founder of the museum is a writer Alfonz Lukain.

Come back to yourself, Europe!
If we deny, what was so necessary for nations to live their lives during the centuries. If we deny their Christian culture- what will the nation live by? What will Europe live by?

Christianity and Gospels have unified Europe for many centuries. European integrity weakened when Europe started forgetting Christianity. When Christian life weakened, European nations began capturing the others and they subordinated their citizens and properties. Besides many good acts, disintegrated Europe of nations exported two World Wars to the whole world, ideologies of Nazism, communism and imperial colonialism to the distant places. The European Union should be the source of the new energy and hope not only for Europe but also for the whole world.

Europe must have its soul

After World War II, Robert Schuman, French Christian politician presented his project for European unification, honoured people of that time pronounced it as the most genial project ever. ´After suffering from numerous wars in Europe during the centuries, the reconciliation of France and Germany seemed to be an unbelievable act. Then other states such as Poland and Germany and many other nations reconciled. Some politicians considered these steps to be those, ´ taking breath away´ ones. This project of unification and integration has lived since then and has protected Europe from destroying wars for 60 years that is the longest period of peace during the centuries of its history!
We can see Europe integrating. If Europe should bless its nations and the entire world, it must have a soul, holding high moral esteem of a man to a man and to the nations as it is embodied by the truths of Gospels, which formed the European culture for centuries. Whenever European states diverged from Christian morality, lives of European nations declined and passions, desire for power and reign appeared. Monarchs of European nations fought against one another at the expanse of millions of people. Our generations survived this history of Europe in which inhuman ideologies were put across and exaggerated nationalisms were inciting conflicts within the nations and among nations resulting in two World Wars.

The Cruel revenge of the Russian bear
The fragments from fate German captives in the Soviet Union. Germans were transported in cattle trucks especially to Siberia, where they worked as loggers, they helped with laying the rails and in the stone-pits. From a million of recruited people there was 80 per cent of women a girls.

In the beginning of the year 1941 12 000 prisoners froze in the cells of Soviet work-camp Dzurma near to Vranglerov Island. When the thousands of polish were deported to Siberia 1 600 of them froze. They were driven on the outlet whips of the lorries. Many of Latvian, Polish, Estonian, Ukrainian and Russian prisoners died also in the moments when there was big German army passing through the soviet frontier. its optimistic soldiers and military officers didn’t still realize that in a couple of years after they will have similar fate and that the big part of them will join the 60 million of victims, which is the soviet government responsible for in the period of years 1917 - 1991.

First German captives fell into the soviet hands already in first hours of German attack to USSR 22nd of June 1941. These incidents were indeed very sporadic and according to hectic soviet retreat they were mostly immediately killed or killed after the tortures. First quantitatively bigger German prisoners gain was the implication of Stalingrad´s cauldron. In this the soviet union repudiate 96 000 soldiers of German 6th army with „one-day” field-marshal Friedrich Von Paulus. Thousands of German captives died during the walk to Bigidovka - south of Stalingrad, in which were Germans centered. Totally died 50 000 German captives on typhus and dystrophy in first month of capture, 25 000 once again during the transport to the camp. Only 5 000 captives came back to Germany after the war...

The Spirit of the fabulous Atlantis appeared again
The Culture of Atlantis didn’t disappear. World visionaries say, that last decades the people of Atlantis are re-incarnated to the Earth in large amounts. The mankind goes over the law of karma, people stand face to face to the world, which they once formed.

Did there exist or didn’t there exist the fabulous Atlantis? The contemporary scientists know more about the Moon as about the events which happened on the Earth thousands years ago. Different explanations of scientists, visionaries, psychotronics, say that Atlantis existed. Undeniable proofs are not available still, an accumulating of the partial evidence is continuing equally as the number of its scientific supporters is increasing.

Key to a secret resolving

In l952 stayed the German priest and a historian Jurgen Spanuth with Swiss archaeologist 4 days in the North sea a few miles from Heligoland coast. From the especially selected place a diver brought the message about several walls and moats built by the people, in a distance something about 10 kilometers from the shore and lying in a depth of 7 and half meters. Historian meanwhile his studies of Egyptian antiques in the temple of Nadinet Habu of Ramzes III found an old Egyptian notices and documents, which an Egyptian priest used in a conversation with Solon as a proof of Atlantis existence . These old Egyptian originals have a big historical value. They include a key to the resolving of the Atlantis secret and also the exact information about the position of an insular country and the king’s island, which was sunken during the naturalistic catastrophe. With the help of this information the historian found the Spanuth ruins of the sunken fortress on the exactly marked place and during the three expeditions he investigated them in the detail. In the Upper Egypt he took a photographs and also mural pictures. One of them shows a sea-fight between attacking people of Atlantis and resisting Egyptians. They served as an evidence of Solon’s story of Atlantis.

Bonton for each day - greetings
We don’t kiss lady’s hand on the street. In the society if we kiss one woman’s hand, we have to do it to the rest of ladies, too. The „hand“ Kiss isn’t a real kiss on hand.

Do you know what does the social decorum mean? It is the list of rules for the social behavior which is very conservative. Politeness is a people’s posture which we keep inside. Its outer manifestation is politeness. Human’s courtesy to each other is the tact. Bonton is the list of rules for polite behavior. Decorum means the rules of the social behavior and protocol defines rules for intercommunication.

Social decorum knows its protocol and its forms, for example the greetings, addressing, dining. In each event the „faux pas” (little social mishap) can happen. To forestall it, we are going to repeat the old good matters related to the social behavior.

The greeting and the hand’s kissing

The safest and the most frequent politeness’ manifestation is the greeting. We greet each other privately ,in a public and also in the working intercommunication. The rules are following: the subordinated always greets the superior, man greets woman, younger greets older. The form of the greeting is also a handshake. Intuitively the handshake is offered by the superior to the subordinated, socially older to socially younger, woman to man.
The handgrip shouldn’t be neither faint nor hard. Hand kissing is in our country very rare thing, however here are also certain principles: for example that it isn’t possible to kiss lady’s hand on the street. In society of several ladies if we kiss the hand of one of them we have to do it to the rest of them. The hand kiss isn’t a real kiss on a hand. We lightly take lady’s hand, man make a little tilt and just indicates the kiss ( any wet lip impression on the lady’s hand nor pulling the hand to yourself!). We should kiss the hand only to the ladies who we know very well and who we admire and adore - our spouse, mother, artist, but also after a dance as a manifestation of thanks or some affection. So we mostly don’t kiss hand on the street, to unknown women nor pretty secretaries in an of office, woman colleagues at work even if they were any charming. If you really long for it, you might do it in a little coffee bar, where you manage an appointment with the lady of your heart. And you as a real gentleman are waiting for her there, you may kiss her hand as the manifestation of thanks that she has come. It isn’t appropriate to do this if it is a working appointment.

Viktor Šefík
Viktor Šefík was born in Košice on 17th August 1960. He is academic painter - with a specialization in painting and restoring. After a year working for the modern structures in 1989 he left Slovakia and alternately lived on Crete, in the Netherlands and in New York. After finishing his travels in 1994, his three-year- period of alcohol and drug addiction started. Having been ruined, he was looking for the sense of living and at last you can find him at Christian Church Oasis of Hope where he has been healed up again. The big change appears not only in his creation but also in his life. He focuses on paintings, drawings and exterior and interior architecture, photographs, mosaics and on other disciplines. Now he lives and works in Košice. ´I adore Jesus Christ and His words: but search for Heaven and Justice first and you will be given more.´Mat 6:33. He has presented his works at more than 40 individual or collective exhibitions. He attended many journeys and meetings in eleven countries in the world.

Return performance of the piano concert in Kiev
´I sit at the piano, light the candle, create relaxing atmosphere. I put my fingers on the piano and let them play without any purpose. My hands move swiftly over the piano keys, I do not think about anything. I do not play the parts that I have learned, ´ Vladislav Šarišský, a gifted composer, reveals the charm of composing.

On 22nd June 2004, an unconventional beneficial concert of the Rotary Club will be held at the House of Arts in Košice. The National Symphonic Orchestra from Kiev conducted by Victor Ploskin, a merited artist, will perform the works of such famous composers as M.Glinka, J.Brahms and the piano concert ´DOR ´by Charron- talented young composer from Košice, Vladislav Šarišský. His 24-minute- long composition will be performed in Slovakia for the first time. However, it has its world premiere at the Thirteenth International Festival of Contemporary Composing in Kiev.

´It took me one year, six months and 3 days to write this composition. It consists of three parts. I wrote it in Košice, Prešov and even in the street. My faith in what I was doing depended on it. While I was composing it, I was thinking whether I would succeed or not. This composition is about life somewhere between dreams and reality, about anxiety what the dream and reality really are about. Whatever I compose, I compose it for my audience not for myself.´says Vladimír Šarišský, 19-year-old graduate from Conservatory of Košice. He studied composition at Professor Norbert Bodnár, significant Slovak composer for six years. He would like to continue studying tutored by Jevgenij Iršaj, a Russian composer living in Slovakia, at VŠMU (Vysoká škola muzických umení-University of Musical Arts) in Bratislava.



Hockey hits from the oversea
How the Slovak team didn’t meet the Czech one at the finals of the Ice-hockey Champions ship in 2004. „I Have an excellent generation of NHL players. Real stars, who have their hearts on the right place. They know what the country means. On the other side the Russian ice-hockey has lost not just one generation somewhere in America,“ claims Viktor Tichonov.


 

Dimenzie No.3/2021Russian Assessment of Ukraine
Via Russia further to Asia
The port on the river Krka
Openness despite the past
Tragic balance,,Storms“
The right-wing circus dominated Slovakia
Let's build a common "Great Wall of Immunity"
The cult Rákoci manor house
Accession of Beijing in the Middle East
,, Little Verdun...Read more