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May-June 2013

Challenges for Slovak Pro- European Triumvirate
Emergency oil stocks are not privatized
Grožnjan rescued by artists
Pope Francis responds to G-8
Fear from the General Prosecutor
The Town of the Sun and Sycamores
Hercegovacka Gracanica
Increasing Disagreements in the European Union (I)
Confiscation of Bank Deposits
The Future of Museums depends on Technologies
Why is the Finnish education system successful?
Cooperation and not Competition
Pasha’s Painted Mosque
Methodius´s Success
Cursed Obrenovič´s Family
A Handful on Stage
Silent dialogue among the flowers
Bad Girl

 
 
Editorial
Challenges for Slovak Pro- European Triumvirate
 At the time, when neither the European Council (Council) nor the Member States of the European Union are able to stop deepening disintegration inside the Union (Eurozone and the rest), Slovak diplomacy revives the spirit of the National Convention on the European Union. Formally, it was opened on 9 May 2013 in Bratislava by a series of boring, glorifying and phrasal speeches of politicians who already forgot telling the whole truth to the nation and citizens a long time ago. They even tell the half- truth just now and then using very difficult and inarticulate language.
Slovak diplomacy in cooperation with the Slovak government and the national parliament wants to lead a wide dialogue with citizens not only about the future of the EU but also predominantly about the future of Slovakia in the European Union. We should welcome and appreciate this goal. However, isn’t it only a formal and obligatory goal on the paper when everything has already been decided? “Slovakia has no other alternative than the European Union. Slovakia has to remain in the core of integration,” Prime Minister Fico often emphasises. Together with Miroslav Lajčák, a Minister of Foreign Affairs and a Commissar for institutional relationships and administration, they created “Three” which de facto coordinates the entire “strong policy of the government” and thus make decisions about the future of Slovakia in the European Union. Two diplomats and a lawyer, who are convinced federalists, offer the space for discussion about the European topics, which, however, already has clear political endings- to support the project of bank, fiscal and political union at least in Eurozone. In this Eurozone, that experiences poverty and unemployment or the impact of the recession and financial crisis the most. Nevertheless, the question arises- why should “the old and seriously ill Eurozone” become a core of further deepening of economic and monetary union and continuously transform into a federal state? Well, financial stabilization mechanism in order to rescue Euro feels continual decrease of rating and credibility. In addition, how efficient were the regulations to revive economic growth and increase unemployment that is as a propaganda pursuit by Mr Barroso? Not at all so far. On the contrary, consequences of endless regulations, which mainly influence entrepreneurs, farmers, teachers, nurses, and mostly young people, not well- paid officials.
Moreover, the second, probably provoking question: Why should Slovakia still be a part of something that has negative influence on the standard of living of its citizens? Let just remember the year 2002 and Róbert Fico and how he fought against the integration in Eurozone and economic and monetary Union with a slogan:” We do not want to go to the European Union as poor as church mice…After almost five- year Slovak membership in Eurozone, we find out that Euro has not decreased but dramatically increased costs of living (mainly the prices of groceries) and devalued the value of hour-work, savings and pensions.
When we used to earn 10,000 Slovak crowns on average, we could surely afford more in comparison with what we can buy now for 333 Euros. Slovaks are not only poor but also have emptier stomachs and higher debts. In my opinion, it is the most significant result of our change to euro currency and not political speeches about how and in what ways Euro has protected Slovak economy and us. Let just have a look at our neighbours- the Czech Republic and Poland where they preserved their national currencies and do not complain about floating exchange rate or losses. It is the other way round, their currencies are becoming stronger compared to euro.
It seems that our Slovak pro- European triumvirate does not take the rest of the European Union into consideration; according to them, the rest of the EU has no sense or future prospects. Slovakia should be rescued by a bank, fiscal and political union- a new system that makes the importance of national government and parliament even more formal. Well, both pillars of national sovereignty will become redundant in a while. They will disappear and change into administration offices under the directive of the European Central Bank and the “European government”. They will actually decide on distribution and allocation of money from a so-called “federal budget”. In addition, their competences will be at the level of the regional self- administration…
The Slovak National Convention on the European Union will be needless if it does not come up with a question – in what kind of the European Union will Slovakia hold presidency in 2016? In other words, if Great Britain and other opponents of unification of “a club of sovereign states” will not change their negative approach towards current development in the EU and the referendum on remaining of Albion in the Union is negative, it is rather disputable how Slovakia will solve the risk of “crash” of the all-European integration. It is more than sure that the English do not want Euro. In addition, not only Euro. It is obvious that German- French federalist tandem is getting into a “cul-de-sac” as they have no results and Europe is threatened by great social resentments. It is not enough to rely on unified bank supervision. Crisis cannot be solve only by controlling, increasing taxes and implementing new taxes. Citizens, nations and states need economic, spiritual and cultural freedom, not uniformity and imposing dictation in thinking and for “working market”. Globalization terminates here. In addition, whether we want it or not, Europe will rather face economic automation and decentralization. It is enough if you notice how the regional differences are growing in the European Union.
Moreover, “the Slovak vision” about the future of the EU within Eurozone somehow starts and ends at this point. Slovak Integration Three does not offer an alternative out of the Eurozone and European Union. Neither it offers “audit” of what works nor does not work in the Union. They just blindly believe. They do not suppose that Euzone might disintegrate and the EU might divide into blocks of states with their own interests- for example a closer political and economic cooperation within Visegrad 4 that can be a natural and logical result of “the fight” for more generous structural funds. In addition, will they really be more generous and endless?
It would be a big mistake if Slovakia did not show enough courage to speak frankly about the possibility of leaving Eurozone and the European Union, about positive and negative impacts of such a decision. Is it really so impossible? Why is that Robert Fico so sure that impacts would be much worse than advantages? Does he know about “citizens´ riots” in Iceland? In 1989, it seemed rather impossible that the USSR and the Council for Mutual EconomicCooperation ruled by Russia and soviet ruble. However, it did happen. Even this integration moloch disintegrated so fast and unexpectedly that it seemed to have been arranged in advanced in Jalta. And they had an agreement on cooperation signed with the EEC, the predecessor of the EU. Yet Slovakia has not recovered from its disintegration and consequent selling out of the state properties. It paid very much for the “only right integration way”. Why? Because Slovakia was ready neither for disintegration nor new integration. Between the years 1990 and 1993, it was only an observer of the collapse of the system of the centralistic planned economy, of course, socialistic. At present, it is in the capitalistic system but still globally planned and managed. In the former system, many citizens at least had their job assured, subsidized prices of groceries and much more free time to spend with their families and private life. Nevertheless, they were under political and power control in a locked cage. In the European Union, however, their situation is rather similar. In this “ security and democratic “ cage they can freely shout and protest, be of any religion, vote various political parties, have a freedom of choice and decision making, possibilities to be entrepreneurs. However, be aware of the fact that they can do so only in case they have funds and market, connections and Godfathers, or they are somehow connected to or belong to the privileged ruling class. What is better in present situation- to have economic or political freedom? Surely, Slovakia deserves political as well as economic freedom. However, it requires a generation of real patriots and not only loyal partocrats who think they are etatists supporting  a strong and powerful state or the European Union.           
Robert Matejovic, editor in chief            
 
Personality
Emergency oil stocks are not privatized
We will definitely seek for legal ways to make sure we eliminate the various cartel agreements and attempts to make money at the expense of the state, "says Kajetán Kičura, a chairman of the Administration of the State Material Reserves of the Slovak Republic.

Photo report
Grožnjan rescued by artists
It is the most preserved ancient town in Croatian Istrija and frequently visited summer Mecca of culture, music and art.
 
No Comment
Pope Francis responds to G-8
“Every man must have an opportunity to feed a family, bring up children, worship God and develop people’s abilities. It is a basic issue,” he emphasises.
 
Opinion
Fear from the General Prosecutor
“ President Michal Kováč also refused to appoint proposed candidates for the general prosecutor. The base of the legal state is to respect decisions made by the head of the state,” states Štefan Harabín, the Chairman of the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic.
 
Photo report
The Town of the Sun and Sycamores
According to Lonely Planet, Trebinje is the second most beautiful town
in Herzegovina, right after Mostar. It represents a fusion of the Oriental and Dalmatian style of architecture.
 
Hercegovacka Gracanica
It is Jovan Dučić´s final resting place. He was a great Serbian patriot, a poet and a successful diplomat of the Kingdom of Serbians, Croats and Slovenes.
 
We were interested…
Increasing Disagreements in the European Union (I)
Will Germans expel Hungarians from the EU?  Greeks, having been suffering from the financial crisis and unsure role of Germany in it, are interested in what has happened to their national gold reserves.
 
The European Union
Confiscation of Bank Deposits
The Open Bank Resolution is a tool of pre- planned confiscations. Cyprus was just a rehearsal. The war against Russian accounts owners in the banks of the EU continues.
 
Interview
The Future of Museums depends on Technologies
“At present, we are searching for an active correspondent in Slovakia. For all interested museum and heritage professionals we are offering the possibility to come and participate in the Ecultvalue Dialogue 2013 in Dubrovnik,” says Goranka Horjanová,
a Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees the European Museum Forum.  
 
Successful
Why is the Finnish education system successful?
To have Primary and Secondary schools at the similar level- this is the main goal of the educational policy. The teacher, his personality and role are predominantly significant.
 
Cooperation and not Competition
Professor Jari Lavonen, the Head of the Department of Teacher Education at the Faculty of Educational Sciences, at the University of Helsinki, speaks about how Finland chooses young pedagogues, what are advantages of the education system in Finland and how the country got inspiration from its neighbours.
 
Opinion Poll
Will Peter Kažimír cope the position of a strong prime minister if Róbert Fico becomes a Slovak president?
 
Abroad
Pasha’s Painted Mosque
It is a Turkish decoration of “the Albanian town without law,” as local residents and Macedonians call Tetovo.
 
Reflexion
Methodius´s Success
As an archbishop and Pope’s delegate for the Moravian and Pannonian Slavs,
 he significantly participated in organizing the state administration in Svätopluk´s Empire.
 
History
Cursed Obrenovič´s Family
Rulers from this family, who managed to develop the Serbian Principality in the Ottoman Empire and the Serbian Kingdom after the Berlin Congress, had veryturbulent recesses of private life and tragic ends.
 
Culture
A Handful on Stage
”I enjoy the indefinable atmosphere and experience all the feelings that my colleagues face, "confesses Viera Topinková, a member of the Drama Group at the Slovak National Theatre.
 
Art
Silent dialogue among the flowers
It is Fani Podkrižnik Pahovnik´s inspiration. She is a fine artist who lives and works on the farm in the village of Rečica ob Savinja in Slovenian Styria.
 
Sport
Bad Girl
From figure ice-skating to boxing. A story of talented Tonya Harding whose carrier was influenced by the attack on Nancy Kerrigan, her rival on ice.
 
 

 

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