April 2013

Poorly Setup Chessmen on a Slovak Chessboard
New Strategic Pipeline
Newly- revived Kotli
Quo Vadis the Constitutional Court?
Slovak Island in Sučuraj
Alternatives for Germany
Suppressing Progressive Left
Shale Gas and Geopolitics
Georgia wants a dialogue with Russia
From Constantinople to Rome
Sitting Daruška
Bullets avoided him
Serving the accordion
Black Humour in a White Coat
City of Angels
Wreck or Hero?

 

Editorial
Poorly Setup Chessmen on a Slovak Chessboard

As an old man I spend more and more time in the corridors at various doctors' surgeries. In addition to the general practitioner, I go to at least three other specialists. As a patient, I recently got to the National Cancer Institute. I am used to anything. I have never seen as crowded corridors as I did in this Institute. I made my way towards the designated doctor's office through a crowd of surly people, full seats and benches, other people were standing, furiously and unsmilingly, holding their coats in hands as there was nowhere to move. More like an ice hockey stadium than a medical centre. I could have told those stories all the morning. One waits not hours but almost half a day or the entire working day in front of the surgery. Yes, from seven in the morning and you get in at two in the afternoon, without lunch because you cannot leave the place in front of the surgery- what if the nurse calls your name?

Neither doctors nor nurses are to be blamed, nor directors of health centres and hospitals. They do their best. It is obsession to achieve an academic degree, boastfulness, university degree of a daughter or son to be blamed. I have written obsession because parents do not care about real needs of our life, they have no idea about reality of future career. They just know that their children must be well- educated. It does not matter what they study, it is important that they study. Then, they go and are registered at the Job Office as unemployed.

The opposition in the parliament is just playing and trying to call off the minister of education. A person, who dared to say that the king was naked. He said that a large number of universities; state or private ones educate specialists but specialists for nothing. Slowly but surely, there is a private university, feeding strange so-called specialists, in empty buildings in every district town. “Strange” specialists being paid good money and high scholarship produce Slovak citizens with a university degree. Universities became a good business. It is enough to take a mortgage for restoration of excess assets of a town or particular ministry, re-redecorate the façade, create classrooms, study rooms, and set up the high scholarship. It would be the devil so that the school did not make a profit to its owners! We do not pollute the environment.
However, we pollute university education in Slovakia. While villages cannot get a young doctor for a long time, the district cities have to close downs the hospitals but our universities keep producing hundreds, or thousands of graduates and the army of unemployed people. We have so many politologists, media experts, economic managers, lawyers, psychologist, scene- grapher, dramaturges like fish in the sea. As well as four lane roads leading to huge automotive factories. We have the highest production of cars per capita in the world. Therefore, we have dozens of unemployed graduates per capita. It is pathetic.
Our population is ageing; the average life expectancy is somewhere in the worse part of the European register. We do not have enough doctors, nurses, laboratory technicians. We do not have engineers, technicians, and plumbers. We are unable to ensure maintenance of our “bodies”. In addition, we are unable to ensure already going production of cars, constructions of motorways, new flats, and repairs of houses, which are falling onto our heads. We do not develop our infrastructure at the level of the 21st century. A half of general practitioners are people at the age of pensioners. What if at least half of them decided to retire, the entire system of GPs would collapse. We would have to make an appointment just to be examined with influenza. Moreover, we would have to wait for some operations for many years! Young doctors would never go to work in the village although he/ she is offered a flat. There are no dentists. We would remain with bad teeth or we would have to go to Germany for a simple tooth filling paying a fortune for it?
During socialism, there were special placement lists. Unpopular bureaucratic measurement but it served its purpose. At preset, we are living in the era of market economy and worship the gods of deregulation resulting into crowded corridors in front of surgeries, loss of working time and shocks on both sides. Are do we train our graduates using our taxes who cannot be place in the labour market?
Viktor Orbán, our neighbour, is generally told off and hated. The EU criticizes him for breaking holy rules of liberation. He decided that graduates who want to study for public money are obliged to work at home in Hungary for several years.
It is as easy as a pie. However, the conditions are rather different in Brussels. Orbán breaks the rules of free movement of people.
I have just seen the video on the internet. Students, who had pushed away a lecturer, and had shown a dancing performance with an appropriate English music accompaniment, disrupted the lecture at the Economic University in Bratislava. For someone pleasant entertainment. Why should students not relax during long and boring lecturers? However, I enjoyed it only a little. I felt rather anxious. How will those bored future economists in Bratislava or Brussels solve the issues of collapsing banks somewhere in Cyprus or Portugal? Will they be dancing around the table in the European Commission? Alternatively, would they even be interested in monetary union or bank regulations?
Can a responsible surgeon working with sophisticated technologies and high- tech equipment and tools, where a single wrong movement may cause catastrophe or death, forget a great deal of knowledge acquired in six years of his study? Can one exist without inner motivation, enthusiasm, love to his/her profession (not occupation!), and mission?
What do those dozens of present economists, psychologists, lawyers who potter around (obviously there are some exceptions) numerous faculties of non- natural or technical directions? University Dance Groups will not lead us from the recession, will not help our development. Do you remember three psychologists from the TV Panelák? Ladies working as psychological consultants cannot solve their own problems and cope with their own lives. Models of negative behaviour- not models to be followed. Without new doctor, engineers, people with real desire to change situation around them, we will not definitely move forward without authors of exact changes.
I personally used to study at the kind of the University of Economics. I considered my study as a serious preparation for life. Having known reality where politics and culture hide secret but not always easy- to- be- identified economic processes. It is necessary to know, continuously follow the news and verify. Using figures, statistics, data, exchange rates, GDP, an economist should be able to learn about the situation on the society, state, its profitability or features of recession and crisis. Just like a doctor who is able, to create an overall picture of a patient’s health condition based on his blood test, the number of blood cells or ECG graphs.
I have spent all my life dealing with humanities (humanity disciplines). Nevertheless, they just cannot be a fashionable item. My feeling that we have many specialists is strongly increasing. However, we have poorly setup pieces on the chessboard. There is a surplus of them in some places, but missing in the others. They are not in the right places.
During socialism, regardless teaching of a basic subject called Marxism- Leninism, technical and natural sciences studies used to be preferred. Economic and political sciences were strictly limited. Nowadays, we have moved to another extreme direction. Natural and technical studies have remained somewhere on the edge of public’s interest. Politology has increased in its popularity. According to many people-, there is the reason- they are theoretical comments on everyday political activities and very often of poor and doubtful probative value. For a while, I worked a lecturer of politology and I know what I am talking about. I personally created theory of global problems and it was my scope of study. I have even written a book. However, the nation cannot be created by politologists only.
In addition, lawyers are a special issue. Long time ago, they were a rejected group, for communists not very suitable unless they suppressed their traditional principles and did not serve the regime faithfully. Current graduates from the Faculties of Law do not usually serve the state. Changed ownership gives a go to commercial law; they also deal with civil and criminal laws.    The legal education has become a source of considerable revenue. Salaries of judges and their pensions are not comparable to other income groups. We have old-new branches of business, law firms with unprecedented financial turnover. I shudder when I see a former judge who has suddenly become a defender of a serial killer whom he had previously sentenced. He earns more as a solicitor.            
Quantitative growth, the desire for honour and the specter of large earnings corrupted the majority of judges and legal status very quickly. I will not speak widely about the widespread distrust of the general public to judges and courts in general. Loss of moral prestige is evident. Instead of becoming the meant creators and protectors of norms and standards as an expression of morality, they have become active demolition men in capitalism. The more lawyers around us, the more the law becomes unenforceable.
A separate chapter is the role of lawyers in the Slovak politics. While studying every economist also deals with the basis of law. I am afraid it does not work the other way round. For twenty years, we have had an opportunity to observe lawyers in politics and particularly their so-called ignorance of economics. Recent statements made by various new saviors, founders of new political parties and platforms just prove naivety and monstrous deficit of economic knowledge and understanding of international relations. I do not know why that is, but politicizing lawyers carry inside of them a sort of messianism. Feeling that they are the only ones who are able to save the world, change for better according to precise paragraphs. Legislation, paragraphs, sections, references, appeals and amendments. Eventually, however, everyday life shows that no legislation will improve the life of the nation unless legislators and all citizens get better themselves. Only morally matured citizens showing continual development and performing work in order to achieve the goals set- not just by the play of words in the laws may change states.
We have somehow set up chessmen on the chessboard wrongly. Pawns attempt to reach the places of bishops, rooks or knights not even mentioning the queen while good pawns are rather important. If we do not lose them, we can win more complicated battles at the end of the chess duel.
Eventually, let have a look at the chessboard of art. There is also rather weird composition. We have hundreds of writers, fine artists, musicians, actors and actresses. Every evening, mass media broadcast only actors and actresses. Most of them are so-called entertainers, celebrities and presenters. A commercial television pays them using money from taxpayers and fees. Why just entertainers and actors? Having seen a great advertising campaign, I watched “ Milujem Slovensko” (I love Slovakia), a licensed program from abroad. There is a similar version broadcast in Hungarian television. In Hungary, students from schools compete and compare their knowledge about their country. However, the Slovak version does not serve its name. There are teams of young people just to cheer, using poor gags said by Slovak celebrities. It is a chart of actors- actresses- presenters- celebrities but not the presentation of Slovakia. Hanged Slovak flags and state emblems are just coulisses, a kind of self- presentation of a group of entertainers. I do not like that kind of Slovakia as Slovakia is not like that. That was it. I will not watch it again.
We need well- qualified educated specialists. In addition, even more doctors, natural scientists and engineers but less politologists, managers, lawyers, presenters, entertainers. Slovakia must have a well- setup team on the European chessboard so that they could win a duel sometimes. The right people at the right places.
Anton Hykisch, writer and diplomat
 
Personality
New Strategic Pipeline
Not only Slovakia and Austria but also the European Union needs it.
“The project of the pipeline BSP is a common child of the companies ÖMV and Transpetrol. The Commission of the EU is considered to be strategic,” claims Robert Nemcsics, a confidential clerk of the company Bratislava- Schwechat Pipeline GmbH.
 
Photoreport
Newly- revived Kotli
The ideal place for those who love relaxing as well as being surrounded by peace, quiet, beauty of nature and the life in the old mills.
 
Opinion
Quo Vadis the Constitutional Court?
“ There is the wide range of decisions with strong odour of political or even financial and lobbying corruption, “ claims Štefan Harabín, the Chairman of the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic.
 
Investstory
Slovak Island in Sučuraj
There is an exclusive complex in Hvar; it is supposed to become relaxing and sporting paradise for demanding clients.
 
We were interested…
Alternatives for Germany
Steinbrück´s SPD wants to defeat “Dictator” Merkel. However, a new euro-sceptic political party called “Alternative for Germany”.
 
European Union
Suppressing Progressive Left
Employed, retired, disabled people as well as students are forced into poverty by the dictate of bankers in Frankfurt, London, Brussels and Washington.
 
Abroad
Shale Gas and Geopolitics
The USA and the European Union are trying to create an East European block on the borders of the former Soviet Union, which was very dependent on his own resources.  
 
Interview
Georgia wants a dialogue with Russia
”Georgia should not have diplomatic relations nor be in a military, political, or customs alliances with states, which recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, "says Alexander Nalbandov, Georgian Ambassador in Slovakia.
 
Opinion Poll
How should the Slovaks live, put themselves in it and celebrate Cyril and Methodius Christian (Spiritual) heritage? Should Hungarians report to this tradition, too?
 
Reflexion
From Constantinople to Rome
Rastic needed scholars and priests who would educate his nobles and people. What did Constantine and Methodius do for the Slovaks in the 9th century?
 
Poetry
Sitting Daruška
“Look, look, she is composing verses again.” His mother occasionally sat on the bench. A story of a Newfoundland dog and its family.
 
History
Bullets avoided him
Napoleon Bonaparte admired Karadžordže Petrovič, a Serbian National hero, too. “Far in the east, in Balkan, there is a military leader. He gathers shepherds around him and without using sophisticated guns and canons; he shook the basis of the almighty Ottoman Empire.”
 
Culture
Serving the accordion
“His artistic development lasts approximately for fifty years, over that time; he has gone through thunderous aesthetic and constructional development, “says Rajmud Kákoni, an accordionist, a percussionist and a university pedagogue.
 
Literature
Black Humour in a White Coat
An abstract from the book by Peter Valo- A Story of Zip Syphilis in Trebišov.
 
Art
City of Angels
Željko Prstec, a painter born in Varaždín, has been collecting angels' wings' dust turning it into his pictures. Baroque Angles are not just motive but also his trademark.
 
Sport
Wreck or Hero?
The autobiography of Paul Merson, the former star from Arsenal London, has become the hit of the book market in England. Having betted in casinos, he lost 7 million pounds, was treated from alcoholism, drug addiction and excessive gambling.

 

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