June 2005

Who are Slovak actors representing?
Tax Košice will be Detroit of Slovakia
It is said you are Francophile and you love everything that is French…
What are you talking about?
Do you think that Rudolf Bauer is a brake of the regional development?
You criticize Mr Bauer's style of work. How is it reflected?
Can you clarify it a bit more?
Who dies honestly, will stay alive forever
Helena Zrínska, Ferenc Rákoczi´s mother
They defended Europe against Turks
Conspiracy against Leopold I.
Reconciliation with Habsburgs
Democracy without welfare is senseless
Probiotics instead of antibiotics and hormones
Sensibly, civilly, but always without a trace of pomposity
Flying eyes
It commands and guides in the air
Early Death of an Early King
Bratislava- Pressburg- Pozsony- Prešporok
A small tiger is not interested in money and fame

Who are Slovak actors representing?
Finally, after students, artists expressed themselves again. To be more precise, a few artists, writers, actors, painter, priests, directors signed the intellectual appeal called 1000 words regarding values and culture. According to Master Ladislav Chudík, their main reason was to preserve something, a single trace, at least. They did not agree with the way how our national culture is being devastated and how general values, which our society used to recognize, have nearly vanished.
´ Prosperity and cultivation are like joined vessels. If this connection does not work, sooner or later, the result will be always a cynic ideological farce. The idea of building up welfare and infrastructure first and then, solving the matters of culture after- it is nonsense. A prosperous economy is an engine of the society, not its principle. If we did not realize it, soon, there will be nothing to save. Men of routine, of kitsch, graphomaniacs as well as self- humiliating and primitive entertainers who occupy public space with great intensity; they will be taken for granted. There will be nobody to compare them with, ´ reads this appeal.
When I started thinking about its contents, I remembered the times, when Slovak actors and artists, drilled by socialistic conditions, earned their respect and reputation. To such extent that together with students, they were able to play their role during the fall of the communistic system in November 1989. The screenplay of the drama, which was probably written by intelligence services with obedient communists, was so persuasive that almost every citizen got carried away by this euphoric drama about a defeat of communism and creating a new democratic society in Slovakia. Something similar is happening in Ukraine at the moment, where revolutionists and lined-up squads of the third sector have no idea how this play about liberate and European Ukraine will end up…
It was exactly Ladislav Chudík who as a first post-November Minister of Culture abdicated. He did not have enough power and health to face a new cultural and political mess… At that time, he had already defined very clearly what would be happing to Slovak culture and how the hierarchy of values would be changing in barriers of post socialistic, national or civil thinking and entrepreneurships.
Mr Chudík resigned almost fifteen years ago, when freedom of culture, creation and liberate thinking were being discussed. At those times, we had just begun to finance free but already damaged and malnourished national and regional culture, folklore, art but also cheap rubbish culture and film of no value because nothing else could have appeared in our cinemas… Moreover, it was all paid from our taxes. It was not fashionable, i.e. the culture that used to be and should have stayed our national. The image of a new society required porno, brothels, drugs, soaps, musicals, violence, singing actors and depression.
Slovak actors failed totally, then. Instead of protesting and refusing of dubbing or advertisements as the only way to earn for living, they remained silent. They were looking for easier ways through various foundations and funds jut to squeeze some money at least. Some of them let themselves use naively by incapable politicians and by the third sector, being afraid of taking any responsibility so that they could fight for so-called democratic nature of the state and culture in 1994- 1998. What results did they get after 1998? Those, who were fighting with enthusiasm, announcing, singing, talking and playing at the meetings, quickly became famous and popular after a great political change that year. They were stars of- mainly STV or TV Markíza. But easy story, morning glory- finally, they declined and finally were kicked out. What have they produced? What have they left for the future generations? Amusing ´ dereš´, competitions, boomerangs, ´ eseročky´ and many other commercial obligatory programmes… Just to survive and comply with tough business conditions and requirements. As they are a bit older, more worn out and depressed of commercial pressure, production reaches for new compensation or supplementation.
Contemporary ´artists´ are embodied by skinny- anorectic and soulless moderators with new vocabulary. Any terms and conditions? To be in, to look gorgeous, to have a sense of feeling and behave like trained monkeys with Hollywood smiles, just in accordance with all rubbish American series… Well, everybody wants to make money and survive.
However, what would happen if the government announced to release 3 or 4 millions from the national budget for our national culture (no one can define what it is)?What would be our actors´ reactions like- what would they do first? Fight for money shouting that theatres are the most important ones? What kinds of films would they do or what would be performed on the stages (apart from musicals) so that they stayed faithful to the era and mercenaries? If it really was the matter of profession and Slovak cinematography, they would have established their own private production company, a private film studio and plenty of films would have been made already. They wouldn't be begging on TV for money for theirs or other foundations and wouldn't be selling their faces just to advertise something affordable for only few citizens.

Robert Matejovic, M.A.
Editor in Chief

Tax Košice will be Detroit of Slovakia
´Košice must earn the image of the second capital city of Slovakia. I am disappointed with the people who are leading this city and the whole self-governing region. I feel like changing stagnant water and stuck regional politics by a lightning in order to move it as in case of health care in Košice, ´ claims Viliam Novotný, MP and candidate of SDKÚ for the Chairman of the Self-governing Region.

He wants to defeat his two very strong rivals- Zdenko Trebula, Mayor of Košice (SMER) and Rudolf Bauer (KDH), contemporary head of the county. Although he is only 32 years old, he is conscientious enough and he is convinced that he can help the stagnating County of Košice and the city of Košice as a politician with managerial thinking and clearly defined future vision. ´I want my region and my city to become an essential pillar and not a tail of Slovakia. We must not wait what lobbying groups of Bratislava will let us do, our task is to create the second Bratislava in East Slovakia, ´ says MUDr. Viliam Novotný, a good-looking almost- two- metre- tall, smart and just- married man, MP of the Slovak Parliament, of the Self-governing Region of Košice and a winner of primary election in SDKÚ for the post Head of the County of Košice. He was given his mandate of the MP in the Slovak Parliament as a substitute for Mikuláš Dzurinda, Prime Minister.

Mr. Novotný, originally, you were not supposed to operate in Slovak politics and in the Parliament during parliamentary election held in 2002, at that time you should have to start your three-month specialized training at the Neurosurgical Clinics in French Grenoble. Why did you decide to prefer politics?
I entered politics in 1997, after the defeated referendum, because of my idealism, my attempt to help pursue democracy in Slovakia. I was a member of KDH (Kresťansko- demokratické hnutie- Christian Democratic Movement) but I was not satisfied with its politics. In 2000, I became an establishing member of SDKÚ (Slovenská demokratická a kresťanská únia- Slovak Democratic and Christian Union) and of course the main reason was my idealism again. I believed and believe that this political party is the best grant of the European integration of Slovakia, which I really had longed for. Before the parliamentary election in 2002 after the primary election I ended up on the 34th unelectable place on the candidate list. At that time, we had about 8 per cent of preferences. I had been working very hard during the campaign and the result was excellent- 15 % and 28 MP. Later, it was like a dream. The presidium decided about substitutes for the members of the Government and based on preferential votes, I was the best. I was obliged to accept it and Grenoble had to stay aside.

It is said that you are Francophile and you love everything that is French…
Yes. I do not try to hide it. I admire France, its history, culture, I like French lifestyle. It is a great combination of German punctuality and southern easygoingness. They are hard-working and precise as Germans but on the other hand they know how to seize their lives. The Slovaks are much more irritated and nervous, many times senselessly. Nothing is eaten as hot as cooked.

Apart from politics, you deal with medicine. You work as a neurosurgeon and specialist for the operations on spines at the Neurosurgical Clinics of the Faculty Hospital of L. Pasteur and the Faculty of Medicine UPJŠ in Košice. Why have you decided just for neurosurgery?
When I was studying medicine, I wanted to be an internist. Then, I was looking after my mother who had had two operation on her brain done- that was the time when I decided to specialize on neurosurgery. It is very demanding profession because, despite all your attempt and personal enthusiasm, the result is often, mostly after very serious operations, very unreliable. It is very hard to earn reputation and fame. Doctor's psyche is extremely burdened as for example in oncology. I have seen a lot of human suffering and pain and I have also noticed this strange feeling when you just cannot help any more- in spite of all you endeavour.

You are a member of Spine- surgical association, the group of active spine surgeons. You are trying to build its specialized centres in Slovakia? What is your motivation?
Nowadays, spines are examined and treated by orthopaedists, traumatologists and neurosurgeons. Backbones are operated in many places with a different level of quality. I am the co-author of the conceptions concerning establishment of common specialized work centres. There are ten of them in the Czech Republic; Slovakia should have three or five of them. The conception of spine surgery (spondysurgery) is being discussed at the Ministry of Health Care SR at the moment. I believe that the first centres of spine surgery will appear in Slovakia very soon.

Peter Ottinger, experienced orthopaedist is the grant of this idea. He is your colleague and State Secretary at the Ministry of Heath Care. Would you project be realized unless he were there?
This is not a political issue but specialized and comes from doctors who want to improve services for their patients. The fact that State Secretary also supports this project is very positive. Sometimes you must give your ideas political dimension so that the patient was given an excellent care and treatment at the same place. I do not see politics as something bad and harmful in this way. So it is not your political membership that is important. The idea and its objectives are the most decisive.

Well, let us go back to the politics. You were nominated by SDKÚ for the regional election for the post of the Chairman of the Self-governing region of Košice which is economically stagnating. It misses a managerial leader. Why have you decided to prefer politics to medicine?
I must confess I had been judging my further operation in politics and medicine. Perhaps, I have enough energy and courage to focus on regional politics as well. I am disappointed with the people who are leading this city and the whole self-governing region. I have always been a proud citizen of Košice; my family has been living in Košice for a few centuries and in this region which deserves completely different future. I feel like changing stagnant water and stuck regional politics by a lightning in order to move it as in case of health care in Košice. I want to be in regional politics and medicine will be my hobby for the time being.

Doctors are said to have not very good managerial skills and thinking and they are manipulated very easily. Why should you be an exception?
I have acquired enough spurs to be able to create the teams who will push the region ahead. I cannot do everything on my own. I want to be a manager of outstanding personalities that do not have to be members of any political parties. My goal is instantly recognizable- turn Košice into real counterbalance to Bratislava. We must find for this position by ourselves. We have waited so far. We must not wait what lobbying groups of Bratislava, ministers and officials will allow us to do and we must act in accordance with answers we have been given for our requests.

The economic and social programme of the County of Košice has six global objectives- to decrease pressure on environment, to increase branch and spacious diversification of industry, torise economic activities of small and medium entrepreneurs, to reduce unemployment rate, to complete infrastructure and country development. After two years of its approval, it seems people will have to wait for exact and more significant results. How would you evaluate it?

It is good to have these materials. Although these six objectives are clearly defined but are rather general. They are so-called never ending goals lasting for ever. First of all, we have to define the economic conception and vision our region need. It should be the starting point of the Regional Operational Plan and consequently Sector Operational Plans. This programme includes general objectives only that are a king of methodology or instruction for completion of various projects. It is not the precise vision we desperately need. We have learnt to write projects and ask for the European funds for particular support but only for partial goals. We did not employ potential of the region; we succeeded in small projects only, e.g. roof repairs, repairs of hospital boiler rooms and some cultural events.

You are also the member of the regional self-government region of Košice. Do you take the same responsibility as 56 other MPs? What proposals of improvement have you submitted already?
I do not refuse to take responsibility. I wanted to take it and SDKÚ but also SMK (Strany maďarskej koalície- Hungarian Coalition Party), ANO (Aliancia nového občana- Alliance of a New Citizen) and SMER together with KDH from the beginning. We intervened at Mr Rudolf Bauer (KDH), we were offering various proposals for cooperation but he refused them. There is no majority coalition or coalition council at the level of the regional government. The City Council operates based on freelance and random cooperation. Rudolf Bauer has not created majority coalition in the regional parliament, it governs according to coincidence. We never know the result of the vote. Mr Bauer is supported by ten members of the parliament. How can you propose and pursue essential materials needed if you do not have a functioning majority? I do not understand R. Bauer in that. I did not want to be a Head of the County who looks at the board and does not know how the voting will end up in crucial issues.
Sometimes I have an impression that the Self- government is an office full of people employed and protected by KDH. It should serve citizens and not a political party.

What are you talking about?
There many things discussed in the Self- governing region of Košice but we do not have one essential thing- the concrete conception of the regional development. This region has been missing three or four big and key project for a long time. Even the investments which arrived in Košice, also industrial parks were built not thanks to the regional self- government but officials from Bratislava, local governments and entrepreneurs. The Office of VÚC (Self- governing region) cannot deal with entrepreneurs and local governments, it is not able to address entrepreneurs, town and village councils or the thirds sector and get them involved in potential projects. Home and foreign firms come to the region and Košice but they are obstructed by bureaucratic impacts. Then, we are wondering they are fed up and leave to the other regions of Slovakia or to other states!

Do you think that Rudolf Bauer is a brake of the regional development?
Yes. Mostly his system and style of work he implemented in his office. If I win the election, I will change it radically. I will choose key and realizable projects so that citizens could see and feel its results.

For instance?
I am not going to talk about them now. I would help my rivals.

In August 2002, Mr. Bauer introduced the ambitious vision of Self- governing region of Košice by the year 2020 in public. According to it, the unemployment rate will decrease down to 3.5 % in the second decade, 45 per cent will have university degree and 20 % people bachelor degree, 80 % people will work for small firms. There will be no enterprises having harmful influence on environment. Majority of entrepreneurs will undertake in services, informational technologies, wood processing industry, mechanical engineering, tourism- branches of high added value. This study was called ´a new sci-fi of Košice´ and the discussion finished sooner than it had started, it was elaborated by well-known M.E.S.A.10, some of them are contemporary and so disputable reformers- Mikuláš Dzurinda- Prime Minister, Ivan Mikloš, Minister of Finances and Rudolf Zajac, Minister of Health Care. Do you support this vision?
Unless we attract self-governments, entrepreneurs and citizens of the region for this vision, it will be another vague material. Recently, our regional parliament approved the conception of development of tourism. Eventually, we have a conception. But when my colleague went to China to present the County of Košice to the Head of one province having population of 100 million inhabitants, he did not have a single propagation material. What is it all about then? And I may carry on. What the conception of development of tourism is for when, for instance, a travel agent in Vienna has nothing concrete to offer from the region of Košice- where to go, what to find there, how to get.

You did not answer my question…
Each vision is senseless without changing the style of work at VÚC. If I am the Head, the first thing I will do, will be the reorganization of personnel based on the team principle. I will train the clerks and they will be sent abroad for special trainings.

You criticize Mr Bauer's style of work. How is it reflected?
The last sample was the key material- transformation of hospitals to joint-stock companies. We had agreed on something but Mr Bauer submitted something completely different to the regional parliament. Fortunately, our changing proposals changed his proposal and approved it and he finally signed it.

Can you clarify it a bit more?
Mr. Bauer´s vision did not attract me at all; it was not capable to solve two essential things. The first- what will happen to debts of hospitals, contributory organizations, which we overtook on January 1, 2003 and which we have to transform to joint-stock companies by January 1, 2006? Mr Bauer proposed to preserve these contributory organizations and leave them all the liabilities. I find it more like a form and not means of debts payback. The only thing we learnt was that the state might have paid those debts. If it had not done so, as the state had no duty to do it, what would have happened after? However, it was not the answer.
We proposed to create the institution of a regional Veriteľ, s.r.o. operating nationwide so that we could comfort the creditors and not to push them into the corner. We would have deposited property of no importance and put all the debt service on it. It would have negotiated with the state and creditors.
The second problems are that Mr Bauer did not manage the bodies of the joint- stock company and their creation. Mr Bauer wanted to be a general assembly on his own and he wanted to recall or appoint members of the board of directors and supervisory board. It should be the other way round and we managed to pursue it by our changing proposal- regional council will make decisions. Another problem was the number and structure of the board of directors. Mr Bauer proposed strong board of director consisting of three people created by executive management. We pursued five-member- board of directors including establisher, i.e. VÚC and executive managers as well. Apart from that, we predominantly strengthened the competences of the supervisory board.

You also criticized how Mr Bauer submitted a budget proposal of VÚC for the year 2005. What is bad about it?
The part concerning costs in the amount of 2, 85 MLD SK was written on seven pages of A4 format without detailed specification of items. We could not read in the budget, what the fund would be used for. Basically, I was against such a budget because that procedure had been possible by the end of 2004 when VÚC was used like a postman delivering money from the national budget. That era finished after fiscal decentralization. Our self- governing region has its own finances (natural person income tax, property rental tax, utility vehicle tax) but I do not have a clear vision and priority in its costs. We initiated to use more money for investments and overhead costs saving. It is unbelievable even shocking that Mr Bauer blocked this initiative at the beginning and he did not sign the resolution. Later, negotiations about signed budget revealed correctness of our initiative, when the total amount of 55 million SK appeared as a kind of reserve. In my opinion it is the old ´clerk system´ and the way of budget creation.

After the Slovak integration to the European Union, the region of Košice expected an inflow of finances coming from the structural funds in the amount of 7-10 MLD crowns. However, it did not happen so and there is no information whether someone is working on the key projects these days. How do you intend to chance this situation? What should be new ´ bread´ for the regional development?
Key projects should be focused on the construction and development of the industrial parks, road and technical infrastructure, projects regarding the environment and tourism. First of all, we have to create and develop the portfolio of affordable flats for young families and socially weaker groups along with the model of their financing. As the whole region situated in the south from Košice is bilingual, we have to move ahead with two- way- cross- border movement of labour force.
I would like to establish a regional road company centred on the construction of a motorway from Košice to the Hungarian border that would join the region with the south motorway net. The road to the borders will be constructed and financed by the model of financing from more sources. We do not have to wait for our state, which will build the road from the west to the east. Has anyone searched for another possibility apart from writing to the minister and sobbing? The second version how to gain finances is the common joint investment of our self-governed region and regions of Borsody- Abov- Zemplín, towns and villages, or European and private capitals. If we have a strategic goal to construct the road down to the border and thus join Košice with the motorway to Budapest sand further, we will have to talk and negotiate with citizens and entrepreneurs.
I have a wonderful dream- to achieve great investors in accordance with the government and thus provide Košice with its renaissance like a centre of metallurgical and mechanical engineering industries. I want Košice to be Detroit of Slovakia and I am glad that automobile companies Ford and Man will come to the industrial park in Kechnec.
Košice has a very good geographical position, it is near to Ukraine and Hungary. We must start taking advantage of its location. It is not enough to say that there is a very high unemployment rate and criticizes the government; we must be more active and dynamic on the regional level too.

Your ambition is to change the location of the National Labour Inspectorate (Národný inšpektorát práce) and the Headquarters of Labour, Social Affairs and Family from Bratislava to Košice. Why?
Košice must earn a reputation and image of the second capital city of Slovakia. It is extremely important to strengthen Košice as a seat of central institutions. Inimical people will repeat endlessly that the situation will not be solved anyway and that Košice need more job opportunities and no central bodies. I do not agree with it. Central institutions are very important from the point of attracting new investors, well-qualified work force. They have a mobilisation effect for the region and its citizens. Košice has never been and never will be an ordinary provincial city. I think that the replacement of these central institutions of the resort of Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs SR to the east of Slovakia would make the situation much easier and thus they would get closer to the problematic areas and regions, i.e. to the places where is the nucleus of problems that must be solved. Where is the highest unemployment rate? Where is the greatest amount of welfare paid? Where is the biggest share of illegal work? In Bratislava or in the east? My changing proposal concerning the replacement of the National Labour Inspectorate (Národný inšpektorát práce) and the Headquarters of Labour, Social Affairs and Family at the time of its elaboration in 2003, when I was in Košice, did not get a necessary support. Neither the initiative of the MPs form SDKÚ from the region of Košice were successful in January 2004, when they presented their proposal of replacement of the National Labour Inspectorate to Košice I was delighted when our initiative reflected in the governmental proposal of a law regarding illegal work and illegal employment passed. And the National Labour Inspectorate will be based in Košice since June 2005. Thus, Košice will be the seat of another central institution (along with the Constitutional Court) with the Slovak-wide operation.

You have been talking about Košice so far. What about other regions of the County of Košice?
Thank you for this question but I cannot tell you everything. As for example, VÚC must solve the problem of completion of the hospital construction in Michalovce, which is being transformed into a joint- stock company. It is not situated in the suitable buildings; the new building is the site of the century. Last year, I help the hospital to get 40 million crowns from the national budget, and it is 20 million this year. However, we need 300 million and a strong investor. The self- governments should not be worried of providing investor with 66 per cent of its shares; the regional governments only need a control package of shares.
Zemplínska Šírava is the pride of the region. This beautiful nature is an ideal holiday place for tourists from West, Central and East Europe, mostly for retired people who do not prefer the sea. Šírava cannot move ahead. It needs a European project for the reconstruction of infrastructure and modern technologies that will remove polychlorinated biphenyls. We need to persuade local representatives and entrepreneurs to realize this project. We must agree on a model- for instance- to establish a joint- stock company, let's say -Pobrežie Šíravy ( Šírava Coast), into which the towns and villages will enter with their fields and VÚC will provide its know- how. Then, we will just need to attract and address some businessmen and investors. Unfortunately, I have to say that VÚC has just sold the hotel that belonged to the hospital and frittered that money away. It was not appropriate action of the officials as they should have used that money to complete the construction of the new hospital building.
I am also worried about the spa in Sobrance. It is in ruins and devastated. What about its revival? It is the same with non- existing ski lifts in Vihorlat and near Šírava. They might have been operating all the year. When we are talking about Ukraine, we forget the area from Veľké Kapušany to Kráľovský Chlmec. If we build an industrial park there, it might be a Slovak export gate to Ukraine. VÚC is obliged to solve these issues! Who else?

The region of Rožňava appears to be a valley of grief. The city was prepared to construct an industrial park, however, it has nor been realize.
Not only state is guilty. Difficult communication of the city council and the state is the matter of concern. Due to this problem, no hypermarket has been built here so far. I am sure Kapušany and Rožňava desperately need industrial parks. It is not Pereš or flooded area between Košice and Prešov, between the river Torysa and the motorway were industrial parks are so necessary. We have not used the industrial park of Kechnec as much as possible. We need some more investors there.

Spiš, which was divided between the Counties of Košice and Prešov, is calling for its unification. Do you support this requirement?
It is proved that the unification of Spiš into one, or a new region, is being pursued by citizens and not by government- what is positive. If the change of regional division is realized by law, I will stand for it. It is very dynamic and quickly developing region with a perspective industrial park in Spišská Nová Ves. The construction of infrastructure must be completed there. Country tourism in the area of the Slovak Paradise must be developed, too. The attempt to revive an old Gothic looked very promising at the beginning but it ended up due to unsuitable infrastructure. I intend to help Spiš with it.

You are the member of the Health Care Committee as well as the member of national and regional parliaments. Which problems of the regional health care can you solve?
There are five clinics in Košice ( Staré Mesto, Juh, Sever, Východ, Košice- okolie) which belong to the competence of our self-government by mistake. The National Property Fund had not managed to give the competences to the cities and towns by the 31 December 2002, so they stayed under the control of VÚC. I pursed their cancellation and creation of the Administration of Medical Institutions (Správa zdravotníckych zariadení KSK). Apart from five directors, we pay the only one. All the activities are not state ones any more. Free spaces are rented to private doctors and firms and the Administration provides them with necessary services. We agreed on this model with KDH. So we managed to save costs and get some finances for VÚC.
I supported some rationalization reforms in former state district hospitals that have belonged to establisher operation since January 1, 2003. Soon they will be transformed into joint-stock companies with a hundred per cent participation of VÚC.
The hospital in Spišská Nová Ves received the same budget; the one in Michalovce is approaching to red numbers equalling remission. The situation is more complicated in hospitals in Trebišov and Rožňava but it was still possible to realize many effective precautions.

They are still hospitals providing their patients with basic and primary treatment. Can they specialize on other services?
It is disputable to what extend they should provide primary and specialized treatment. It all depends on how we will succeed in their transformation. I think VÚC must have an ambition to supervise and coordinate provided heath care in the whole region. Including the real influence of the faculty hospital. This is the only way how to find the most effective and optimal model of working health care; it is the only way to ensure the best management for the patient.

Health Care in Košice has seen the first results of Minister Rudolf Zajac´s reforms that began in spring 2003. It included a great restructuralisation and rationalization. Personally, you supported Minister's ideas and his reforms. How do you evaluate its first results?
Minister's ideas and ambitions were quite close to mine. At first, I did not believe that they might have been realized. Minister intended to create a very strong system of health care in Košice as a counterbalance to Bratislava. It is not the matter of competition. It is for patients in East Slovakia. We wanted them to have the same standard of health care as people in Bratislava. I did not like that both doctors and patients were going to Bratislava. I have always dreamt of creating a top university hospital with excellent services and specialists in Košice. Now, we have joined contributory Faculty Hospital of L. Pasteur (Fakultná Nemocnica l. Pasteura) that will lead to elimination of duplicity of some activities and wards. Soon, it will transform into a joint-stock company from which 49 per cent will be owned by the Faculty of Medicine UPJŠ (and majority in the board of directors) and the state will possess 51 per cent. I think that our self- governing region could be its shareholder, too. It should have at least 15 per cent in order to manage health care in the county. A new-opened East Slovak Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases has doubled its performance in two years. The same institute is in Bratislava but it employs one half of the staff in Košice. Patients do not have to travel to Bratislava to have cardiovascular operations done.

The East Slovak Cancer Institute was established in Košice. However, it is in very poor conditions. Families, having cancer patients, are complaining about insufficient staff and technical equipment, bad communication and undignified environment…
It is good achievement but we must invest a lot in oncology in Košice. It was a great success to create the independent Faculty Hospital for Children. Its predecessor operated more than nursing institute and a child did not get health care of high quality in Košice. The Institute of Nuclear Medicine is being built and the transformation of Geriatric Centre of St. Lukas into non-profitable organization looks very promising. It will place the base for the establishment of specialized geriatric hospital with a wide range of outstanding performance. It is the only institute of that kind in Slovakia.

Who dies honestly, will stay alive forever
Zrin´s Guard of Cakovec reminded both the Hungarians and Slovaks that Helena Zrinska, Croatian, was Ferenc Rákoczi´s mother. Luis XIV., French King, called her the most courageous and brave woman in Europe. A famous family of Zrinsky had defended Europe against the Turkish attacks for almost 200 years.

It is Saturday, 7th May 2005 and Zrin´s Guard of Cakovec is marching down the Main Street in Košice for the first time. Twenty- four men, almost two metres tall, dressed in stylish and elegant black- and- claret uniforms, which were worn at the end of the 17th century, are commanded by Vjeran Rozic, a professional soldier from Varazdin and the participant of the civil war in the former Yugoslavia. Guardsmen are marching in two rows. The Croatian state flag and the blue flag of the guard with a coat of arms representing the noble stock of the Zrinsky family were waving above their heads. A drum orchestra is following them. The Guard Brass Quintet, Chorus and its soloists are waiting for them impatiently in frot of the State Theatre. When the Guard finished marching and stands in two rows, the commander asks the Mayor of Košice, Zdenko Trebuľa, to greet the Guard, do the ceremonial parade and pin a small flag of Košice onto the flag of the Guard. Then he asks his young men to greet the Mayor and the city of Košice. As soon as the last word of the greeting resounds: Navik on živi ki zgine pošteno! (Who dies honestly, will stay alive forever), a strong salvo is fired from a small canon. Mayor as well as citizens watching them are given a fright and are surprised as bit. However, they are still able to listen to melodies, singing and lyrics of Zdravice, of Zrin´s Guard and the hymn Zrinski slavni.

I must confess that I did not try to hide my emotions and joy that the Guard of Zrin visited Košice. When I was negotiating about this possibility with Professor Zlatko Bacinger (a chairman of the guard) in Zagreb and Varazdin two years ago, I did not hope to manage it so quickly. Moreover, I feel very sorry that hardly anyone writes or talks about patriotism while I am listening to emotive songs as Hrvatskoj majci (For Croatian Mother), Bil sem junak, junaj bom or Drago moje serce (My sweet heart). Neither history nor destiny and acts of noble families are given any attention although they influenced the Hungarian monarchy and Slovakia as well.
´I had a feeling as if they had taken me to the history, three or four hundred years back, ´ Mayor admired the guard.

Helena Zrínska, Ferenc Rákoczi´s mother
It was not by chance but it was planned attraction that the Zrin Guard of Čakovec visited Košice and thus enriched the traditional programme of City Days. The reason is quite simple- to honour the memory of Helena Zrínska, Petar Zrínsky´s daughter and wife of Ferenc Rákoczi I- a noble man of Sedmograd. Rákoczi fought for the independent Hungary against the Habsburgs. Her remains were moved from Istanbul from St Benedict Church in Gallati (She was buried there in 1703) to Košice in 1906. Now, she is resting in peace next to her beloved son Ferenc Rákoczi II in the north aisle of St Elisabeth Cathedral. In 1906, when the Hungarian monarchy was celebrating their thousandth anniversary of the first Hungarian settlement, it should have symbolized and strengthened Hungarian orientation of Košice.
Helena Zrínska was born in Čakovec. She also lived in Košice and in Eastern Slovakia for a year. The French King- Louis XIV called her the most courageous and bravest woman in Europe as she defended the castle of Mukačevo for three years. In 1666 she married Ferenc Rákoczi I, ten years later their so wanted son Ferenc Rákoczi II was born in Borša near Slovenské Nové Mesto (District of Trebišov). After her husband's death, she married Imrich Tököly, another leader of anti- Habsburg uprising; her outstanding diplomacy helped him in his politics. Her son Ferenc, leader of the last anti- Habsburgs uprising, refused to accept Peace Treaty of Szatmar that was signed by his followers and Vienna in 1711. At that time, he lived in Poland and Russia. Then he went to France and Turkey where he died in 1735.

They defended Europe against Turks
´Zrin Guard was formed because the Croatians had to forget a part of their history. During the period of former Yugoslavia, whoever was interested in history was considered nationalist. It was the same with the Zrinskys family. In spite of being Croatian, they have been completely forgotten in Croatia. However, I do not understand why. They were very good defenders of Europe against the Turks. Unfortunately, Europe has forgotten it as well. After the changes in former Yugoslavia, we could deal with our history liberately again. We visit all places in Europe, which are connected with the Zrínsky family,´ says Zlatko Bacinger, chairman and founder of the civil association that is the member of Historical troops of the Croatian Army. Its main goal is to advertise historical and military heritage of Zrínsky´s family. This noble family belongs to the most important ones in Croatia. Its tree goes back to 1066. Apart from that, the family left many precious literal works; they protected Europe against the Turks for two centuries. They resided in Čakovec for 150 years (near Croatian- Hungarian borders), which is the administrative and economic centre of Medzimur County.
´Subic Zrínsky - the first lord of Medzimurje (since 1547) was the greatest hero of the Battle of Sziget, later he was given a nickname Szigetsky. He was the man who stopped the Turkish troops on their third expedition t o Vienna at the great Battle of Szigetvár. Suleiman II ´Noble´ (1494- 1566), a significant Turkish sultan, died during this battle. Nikola Subic Zrínsky was resisting military superiority in numbers. 90 000 Turks were fighting only 2500 Croatians,´ Z. Bacinger explains.

Conspiracy against Leopold I.
The history of the family ended up tragically on 30 April 1671 when Petar Zrínky, a noble man and poet, and his brother-in-law Fran Krst Frankopan, a captain and a poet, were executed (beheaded) in Wienner Neustadt. They were accused of the conspiracy, which they led on behalf of Croatian noblemen (together with the Hungarian nobles) against the Habsburgs in 1664- 1671.
The conspiracy against Leopold I was initiated by the politics of Vienna and its approach towards Turkey. …
Croatian and Hungarian nobles criticised that the victories of the Caesarean Army were not used in favour of deliberation of Hungarian and Croatian areas occupied by the Turkish Army. Vienna was afraid of separatist tendencies of Croatian and Hungarian nobles that might have been strengthened by deliberation. The monarchy was a free union - co-states at that time.
Brothers Nikola (killed in 1664) and Petar Zrínsky were conspiracy leaders, Fran Krst Frankopan joined them soon. Hungarian nobles were commanded by Ferenc Vesselényi, a Palatine, György Lippay, Archbishop of Esztegrom. Ferenc Nádasdy and Ferenc Rákoczi took over the leadership later.
This conspiracy aimed to kidnap Caesar while hunting in the woods near Vienna, transport him to the castle of Muráň (in Slovakia) where the nobles would have forced him to resign from Hungarian throne.
Due to hesitation, indecision and bad preparedness the conspiracy did not succeed. Or in other words, magnates´ diplomatic missions in France, Turkey and Poland were not accomplished.
Petar Zrínsky, winner of many battles, praised as ´a shield of Christianity and Turkish disaster, ´ together with F.K. Frankopan arrived in Vienna on 13 April 1670 as they intended to apologise to the Caesar. Croatian nobles considered this step taken as unwise political mistake. Vienna betrayed Croatian nobles and both envoys were arrested. Although the resolution concerning their execution had been passed before arresting, humiliating crime investigation took a year. Death of two members of the family- Zrínsky´s wife Katharine, who died in Dominican monastery in Grazi, and their son, Ivan, who died after a long-termed imprisonment in Vienna, completed the tragic fate of the whole family.

Reconciliation with Habsburgs
Zrin Guard of Čakovec managed to do a unique act. In April 2003, 332 years after the execution, they achieved the act of symbolic reconciliation with Habsburgs and Zrínskys. Grand Duke Otto von Hsbsburg, Chairman of the Pan-European Union, with his wife Regina participated (see Dimenzie č. 7-8 / 2003).
The Act of Reconciliation started in the Cathedral of Zagreb by placing wreaths near the crypt containing Petar Zrínsky and Fran K. Frankopan´s remains (Croatian martyrs) that were replaced from Wienne Neustadt in 1919. When they were being transported on a special train to Zagreb, 50 000 people were celebrating at the station…
Otto von Habsburg, his wife, representatives from Turkish, Austrian and Hungarian embassies placed wreaths as symbols of historical absolution and reconciliation. A direct descendant of the defeated Turkish sultan Suleiman II also took part in the ceremony.
Later, Otto von Habsburg with his wife, representatives of the cities of Szigetvár and Turkish city of Trapezunt placed wreaths to the memorial tablet to Petar Zrínsky and Fran K. Frankopan at the Zrínsky´s tower in the castle of Čakovec. A tree of reconciliation was planted in Zrínsky´s orchard as well.
´It is all the beginning. We wish we organized annual meeting of representatives of the nations that used to fight against each other in the 16th and 17th centuries. Therefore, we would like to use history, no matter how tragic it was, to unite these nations and develop their cooperation in the fields of culture and economy. We are absolutely convinced that we will be successful,´Zlatko Becinger adds.

Democracy without welfare is senseless
´We have prejudice about their poverty. I recommend to every Slovak to travel to Russia and Ukraine to see the changes undertaken and what is really going on there. We have no idea of the wealth of those countries;´ says Katarína Halagovcová, a manager.

Ing. Katarína Halagovcová (Košice, 1962) has been an entrepreneur for fifteen years. Although she studied geology at the Technical University in Košice, she could not use her qualifications in practice during socialism. As she claims no state enterprise employed her because she was a woman. She even wanted to return her diploma. Finally, when she found a job of a youth governess, she managed to do her pedagogical degree at the Pedagogical Faculty of Comenius University in Bratislava. After November 1989, she started to run her own business immediately. She began as an owner of a hairdresser's salon, later she tried catering and restaurants. She attended the first managerial courses and trainings so that she moved her career ahead and reached the post of a trade delegate at the Trade and Economic Department at the Slovak Embassy in Kiev. ´I was the only woman at the department from 2000 to 2004. My colleagues accepted me into their male clan after a while, so I could develop my trade activities and thus help Slovakia. It is a pity that former Minister of Economy R. Nemcics closed all trade delegates at our embassies all over the world. Therefore, economic interests of the country were not the Slovak priority any more. Probably, he was not aware of the economic dimension of diplomacy. Nowadays, only various kinds of statistics (e.g. How much do Germans invest? To which areas?) are elaborated instead of real business and lobbying in favour of Slovakia. When VSŽ Košice (Východoslovenské železiarne- East Iron Works) were being sold, American Ambassador in Slovakia made himself at home in Košice. Our diplomats were made supernumeraries having no real opportunity to help. Slovakia loses particular income every year. The trade relations between Ukraine and Slovakia were harmed indeed. There were twenty- five of us. We had to earn for living by ourselves and we had to pay our state, which was only our grant, a flat rate for the possibility to work there, ´ she adds.

Mrs Halagovcová, since you returned, you have been working as a manager for a few companies based in Slovakia or abroad. You offer mediation services to Ukrainian and Russian firms and entrepreneurs. How do you perceive contemporary interests of the Russians and the Ukrainians in trading with Slovakia?
Slovakia is not an important destination to them any more. The only things they are interested in are the High Tatras and our spas. Visa implementation in 1998, disrupted the international cooperation as well as Slovak tourism and the development of business relationships between them. It is very hard to catch up with these missed years and opportunities. Slovak entrepreneurs do not have enough loose capital to invest in Ukraine and Russia. Moreover, the Russians and the Ukrainians need to trade on a large scale and with the countries like China, India, Germany, France or Italy. It is not even possible to talk about the Slovak or national industry. It is the matter of the past. I see the only hope in spas and mediation activities focused on help some minor west firms which want to reach their position on the Russian and Ukrainian markets or vice versa.

Probiotics instead of antibiotics and hormones
European nad Slovak farmers can use Slovak research, know- how and the world wide patented and protected veterinary medicines produced by IPC, s.r.o. in order to increase breeding and health of farming animals and consequently human's health.

A new directive of the European Union will be valid since 2006. It will forbid the use of antibiotics as a growth stimulus for farming animals in nutrition. Antibiotics cannot be used for prevention, either. Only in case of very acute inflammations. Their negative side influence is obvious- they destroy micro-flora in intestines. Due to long-termed taking of antibiotics, people suffer from various diseases, such as allergies. Hardly anyone is aware of the fact that consumption of meat coming from such animals (poultry, pigs, cattle) often fed by antibiotics of higher rank, cause the production of vestiges, which support, for example, the problems with the prostate gland or large intestine cander, etc. Is there a solution?

Sensibly, civilly, but always without a trace of pomposity
´The goals have not changed. To oppose governmental or oppositional economic policy, in better case strategy, to help the development of the international relationships and thus improve the reputation of Slovakia, ´ says Peter Kasalovský, administrator and executive vice-chairman of NEF- Economic Club

NEF- Economic Club has belonged to the third sector for twelve years www.hospodarskuklub.sk; originally Foundation HNclub (August 1993- July 1997) and the Informal economic forum- HN club (since fEbruary 1999). Although the share of member firms on the industrial production reached 60 per cent for a few years, regardless its personal power, it has never taken part in negotiations of the third sector. After a year or two, none of the members felt obstructed that the club was perceived as a accosiation of a special importance. The reason why it was always ignored is that it has nenver asked or appealed for a financial or other support from abroad or from a home state body or institution.

Flying eyes
The Slovak Army has no flying radars. This problem may become more significant in terms of the protection of Schengen borders, with the development of organized criminality and international terrorism. Criminals and terrorists can use light planes and helicopters to smuggle drugs, immigrants or hidden soldiers to a target destination.

They are flying very high and far from the objects of their interest. They are hearing them silently and they touch them very gently with radar rays. They can distribute encoded gigabytes of decisive data to the right places and for most fighters it is difficult to reach them. They are first in the conflicts and they leave the scene as last ones. Unless they stay there for a very long time.

Airborne Warning And Command Systems (AWACS) have been known for the public from TV screens for over thirsty years. It typical representative is aircraft Boeing E-3 Sentry. Reconstructed transport one B- 707 /320 with a massive nine-metre parabola of the radar aerial, which rotates slowly on pylons over the back part of the fuselage, and it always appears in the news when the situation is becoming serious somewhere in the world.

It commands and guides in the air
At the time of its creation, it was the most expensive American project, in which NATO participated. The main task of AWACS is to view deeply behind the Iron Curtain and thus protect air force and infantry of Warsaw Treaty in a sudden attack by conventional weapons on the vanguard of NATO troops. Apart from this task fulfilled by research aircrafts and warning systems, it was bringing as a new quality- command of all airborne and later also joint operations in the air at particular time.
Due to its range of 320 kilometres on the target of the size of a fighter a couple of E-3 could be in control of the whole area of the former East Germany, west and south of the Czech republic, or safely be on sentry duty on the line over former West Berlin. Its range was even longer while being at passive interception mode, so active radar stations, board answers and radio communication could be traced and intercepted far to Košice.
It was an invention of a great importance for air battles. A whole fighting wing USAF (72 aircrafts) were chosen for its protection. There were four F-15 of direct protections in the air too. On the other hand, operational plans of Warsaw Treaty considered the loss of a whole fighting regiment (40 planes) as reasonable if they managed to shoot one E-3 at suitable time. A Russian anti- aircraft missile complex of long range- S-200 Vega was developed against the strategic systems (SR-71, AWACS). Unfortunately, it performed its destroying power during Ukrainian air manoeuvres over the Black Sea on October 4, 2001, where it shot down a civil air craft 200 kilometres far from there.

Early Death of an Early King
After the Battle of Mohács (1526), Turkish troops did not believe that easy victory and they remained in alert. 28 Hungarian magnates, 7 Church dignitaries, approximately 500 nobles, 10 000 infantrymen and around 4000 riders died there. Ottoman domination in Hungary lasted for 150 years. The status was changed by the Battle of Vienna in 1683.

The Battle of Mohács (1526) meant a total disaster for the Hungarian Kingdom. The country was left at the mercy of plundering Turks. The country was divided into three parts, one was ruled by Habsburgs, second by the Turks and the last one was governed by Jan Zápolsky. It is a kind of irony - the tragedy of Mohács contributed to the development of a small part of Slovakia. After the Turks had captured Buda, the importance of Slovak cities increased, such as mining cities in Central Slovakia. As St Mary Virgin Church in Székesfehervár, a traditional coronation city, belonged to Turkish domains, Bratislava was declared the capital of Hungary for almost 250 years (1536- 1783)- based on the requirements of Caesar Ferdinand I and according to Article 49 no. 49 / 1536. St Martin Dome, became a coronation city. From 1563 to 1830, eleven kings, including Maria Teresa, and eight royal wives were crowned in its presbytery. However, permanent insecurity balanced its importance.

Was the tragedy of Mohács inevitable? Probably not. Although it is said that people, nations or states cannot avoid their fate. The situation was becoming more and more serious even fatal in the Hungarian Kingdom in the 16th century. It culminated in the battle, which we are going to describe. Some nobles and cities did not take Turkish thread very seriously; some took it pragmatically as an opportunity to strengthen their influence. Chronicler described the era before Mohács as a period of prosperity and development, for instance, Chamber of Košice showed a balance of 8000 florins that enriched the income of the royal treasury in 1525. It was rather up-dated to employ pedagogies from Florence. Wealth of landlords and mining cities, where many teachers and scholars from Germany and Italy operated, was increasing. Moreover, the power of nobles was rising up to anarchy caused by frequent changes of Jagiello kings on the throne. His descendants were not able to pursue as rulers. It was the other way round. It can be proved by the reign of Louis II, unfortunate king who was leading the state just at the time of Mohács.

Thank you for listening, applause is not necessary
´Poetry is not a ready-to-eat meal, you do not have to consume it immediately as it might be off soon. And if so, it was not worth publishing from the beginning. The truth that has overslept its right time can wake up as a banality; ´ claims Peter Gregor, a master of writing.

An extravagant man, an excellent author of lyrical poetry and irony. His etudes do not evoke a loud laugher but they rather initiate profound thinking or even bitter smile. He is the author of twelve books of poetry, prose, drama and aphorisms. He has written many radio dramas and his play ´Interview´ has been performed in the theatre. Perhaps the last living bohemian- Peter Gregor (1944).

The collection of poems, Potreba vidieť (Necessity of Sight) was your début. Did you have any problems to publish it?
Each book has its own story of life. No matters it is the way to the literature and to maculature, it has its fate in the prenatal form as a piece of handwriting. I had been offering my début foolishly for three years. Many editors had read it and even more lecturers; however, neither of them accepted it. They did not like the contents of my poems or their form and those, with the fussiest literal taste, did not like both.

Bratislava- Pressburg- Pozsony- Prešporok
The pictures of the city in graphics from the 18th to the 20th century from the collection of gallery of the city of Bratislava

After moving the central administration to Buda at the end of the 18th century, the fame of the city began fading and at the end of the 19th century Prešporok was living its peaceful life of regional importance. The fire in the castle was rather symbolic event for that period of decline. However, it had not been used for its original purposes and as becoming a ruin- it appeared in the views of the city throughout the 19th century as a witness of our bygone fame. Only coronations reminded its glory, out of which the third was held there in 1830; it was the last coronation in Bratislava. On the one hand, the city compensated that loss by its economic development determined by its strategic placement. In 1831, the Danube Steam Sailing Company was established there, later the horse railway was constructed to Trnava and Sereď, in 1848, the steam railway connection with Bratislava and then with Budapest was completed. Due to increase of the population, a significant development of civil engineering was recorder in the second half of the 19th century.
Presented works are a unique evidence of those changes and pulsing life of becoming a modern metropolis. Apart from homeland Central European artists, who worked usually in Vienna or Budapest, drawing and graphic artists from distant European countries, Germany, France and England created their views of the city in a bigger series published in the greater number of impressions. At the end of the 19th century, when photography became more significant, the character of topographically accurate views of graphic letters transformed into the more artistic area not only by its expression but also by its theme (e.g. works of Richard Lux, Emil Ranzenhofer, and Karl Frech). Along with steel engravings and lithography, new more demanding artistic techniques such as etching, soft engraving, aqua-ink, and linocut and woodcut appeared. They were more suitable for more lyric views of very attractive nooks of the city.

A small tiger is not interested in money and fame
Arturs Irbe, a Latvian goal man, will never forget beating the Russians in 2000. It was a kind of satisfaction for him and his grandfathers who were fighting in the German Army against the Soviet Union. He will continue playing as long as his health enables him to do so.

´Our small tiger´ is his nickname in Latvia. No wonder, he is only 178 centimetres tall, what is not too much for a hockey- player. His fans do call him King Arthur, Archie is his nickname used overseas. In all cases, Arturs Irbe, a goal man, belongs to the Latvian hockey stars together with Sandis Ozolins or Karlis Skrastin. This thirty-eight- year -old veteran used to play for the USSR and as a member of San Jose Sharks and Carolina Hurricanes, he earned his reputation in NHL. During the lock-out, i.e. due to the disagreement between player and NHL management, he was not catching anywhere; he was recovering from his injury. However, he had appeared a month before the World Championships 2005 started in Austria. And he showed his profile of a superb goal man again. The Finns were in total despair after a non - goal tie.


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