Posted by on 17 May 2011. Filed under Features, Top news. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

The Pros and Cons of Slovakia

In the wake of the Ice Hockey World Championships, Slovakia’s hoteliers, restaurants and bars are crying salty tears as they did not rake in as much as they had expected. Various media reports claim that many tourists and hockey fans avoided, where possible, staying in Bratislava due to high prices and traffic restrictions.

Many bar managers blatantly increased prices and then, while still continuing to charge inflated prices, claimed they were not doing it. Who are you kidding boys and girls? Even the bar staff were in on the game.

The Championship also saw various thefts from hotels rooms, a partner’s vehicle stolen, and even the hockey jerseys of Slovak darling Peter Stastny direct from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. How in the name of all things normal could the forced entry to 13 + hotel rooms not raise any attention or suspicion whatsoever? Where were the staff and management?

I believe C.C.T.V systems can be bought from e-bay for a few euro, but I guess the hotels in question have state-of-the-art security and surveillance systems that do not detect suspicious people stealing from locked rooms. I guess that was in the small print on the packaging.

The actual organisation of the Championships received maximum praise, but that darker side did not paint such a pretty picture for Slovakia. It almost makes the movie “Hostel” seem plausible, especially as the cannibal story managed to hit the headlines before the end of the Championship.

Maybe security is a game or a kind of hobby here, with all bark and no bite. It’s my pet view that there are security experts in this country that sit in a room planning  scenarios while stuffing their faces with Bryndza halusky and knocking back the old ‘Domaca Slivovica‘ whilst using a “security planning system” version of the  “Dart, Map, Blindfold” navigation system on their gameboys.

As an example; Hey let’s put some explosives in luggage heading for Ireland for the hell of it, Robert’s team can plant them and Jozo’s team has to find them, the winner gets to give the loser a wedgie and after that we can play the “let’s send drugs to Turkey in a Czech truck game”, this maybe after watching Midnight Express.

Even political parties, government officials and has-been politicians continued to tear strips off each other during the tournament, instead of taking a small break and demonstrating good sportsmanship. Surely given the PR opportunity offered by the Championships to Slovakia, the minimum that the country’s leaders could have done was to behave as responsible adults rather than an unruly group of kindergarten kids throwing their toys from their respective prams.

Yet, is this the real Slovakia? NO it’s not! Call me crazy, but in seven years I have been the victim of petty crime only twice –  once having money vanish from my hotel room and later a mobile phone from my jacket in a restaurant, and they were partially my own fault.

I did receive a parking ticket once, though, after stopping in a filling station. A police patrol car was fuelling up as I stopped momentarily to pick up my heavily pregnant partner at the time, who was answering the call of nature as heavily pregnant ladies tend to do. I had to laugh about it in hindsight. At the time I pointed out to local sheriff “Pavel Plodski” that across the road at Tesco there was an abundance of doubled-parked trolleys and that he could have a field day there. In his own naive way, he then sternly pointed out that shopping trolleys are not motor vehicles; I couldn’t argue with that one.

In saying all this, Bratislava Old Town (just like most places in Slovakia) has some pretty good hostelries that have not and never have taken the “Mickey Bliss” out of locals, tourists or ex-pats. They serve up good food and drinks at realistic prices. They are not dives or holes, and can even be found on the main drags.

Admittedly, some are a little more expensive in the Old Town centres than their suburban siblings or country cousins, but that’s to be expected. You just need to avoid the touristy looking gaffs and listen for locals. The country towns and villages are as cheap as chips and service can be great or even entertaining at times. Even at the higher end of the scale they are still cheaper than many other cities.

Slovakia on the whole has a hell of a lot going for it, spectacular mountains, tons of lakes, cascading rivers, and so on. It is slap bang in the centre of Europe and is steeped in history and culture, more castles than you can shake a stick at. Forget Paris or Rome – when you visit Slovakia, why not cruise on the Danube, even propose marriage to one of the lovely local girls if the one you brought says no.

There is a lot to see and do in Slovakia. You can visit a spa or aqua park, go skiing in winter, hillwalking in summer. See the castles, drink the beer, eat traditional Slovak fare and try the local spirits of Borovicka or Slivovica, for instance. It’s a great wee country with a hell of a lot to offer; just don’t park in boxes with white chevrons at filling stations.

In all fairness, the Slovak Republic is still a teenager in the grand scheme of things, socialism ended in 1989 and separation from the Czechs in 1993. So many well-situated people now have all the latest toys to play with and they do not like to share them. It seems to me that they like the new game, but want to apply the rules of the old game where it suits.

33 Comments for “The Pros and Cons of Slovakia”

  1. Stefan B

    Guys, Guys!!!! ididnt use google or a dictionary :-) i wrote what i thought, and what i thought i wrote :-) ( maybe i should use google more often, George your a funny man :-) sorry its not so good my English, but i was only in the UK 3 years :-( but i will remember it!

    i think i read somewhere George you are maybe in Slovakia 8yrs, or how many? your Slovak must be fluent ;-)

    i vote all comments should be allowed to be published, even from John ‘Thanks for all the comments’ :-) lol everyone keep up the good work…

    i am looking forward to the next controversial article from the Mr Flannery, And James if your in the countryside out of the capital, you are lucky :-) you can see what our city attracts….

    George just from curosity what do you do in Slovakia? i just wanted to leave it to you to respond and have the last word :-) ) only joking… thank you

  2. Thanks for all the comments.

  3. George M

    Who am I to referee etc, do you know who actually wrote the Blog?

    SOMEONE HELP Noel as he seems to have forgotten who he is ?

    Regarding my comment about Ireland as a role model ,It was based on an article that I read on the SARIO website a bla bla bla ..

    IS THAT website report written by the team that Fico sacked as incompetent , or by the new team that the current Coalition brought in, because the Fico’s appointees were corrupt ? As few years old , please be current if you are making sweeping comments about fiscal matters .

    As for Stefan, Judging by the structure of his sentences I am sure he can convey himself adequately to be understood, as in get his point across. I am sure he uses a dictionary or translation tool, just as most native speakers use a dictionary or thesaurus. To quote my fellow countryman, Oscar Wilde: “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about” I think you like being talked about!

    AND YOU write a whole BLOG and I don’t …. mmm wonder who likes being talked about here ???

    And as for the author of the blog, it’s at the discretion or the author as to which comments are posted or not. I ask you to consider this, whilst criticism is always welcome and in my view, required, they should however, be constructive. So please try and be constructive instead of destructive.
    In regard to comments pertaining to gender, gender is not prerequsite for any job or role in life, in my opinion, abilities are what should define a persons suitability for a specific role. Physical, moral and intellectual abilities should be the only reprequsites, not gender colour or creed.Excesses in sarcasm and personal scathing attacks can be perceived as bully tactics!

    Sorry, I thought this was Blog , in Web Paper , not a Web Paper in a Blog …but
    OH Dear now you want to consider to be Mr Censor and all because the garden is not as Rosey as you like and every day the sky not clear blue ….

    James, elements of sarcasm are welcome as I have said, as long as they are tastily, intelligently and carefully constructed and presented, which yours mostly were.

    SO HOW many of James comments were mostly Not , tastily, intelligently and carefully constructed and presented …just out of interest ???

    I would also like to thank all commenter’s for their input and views, including George M.

    MY PLEASURE , it’s been a HOOT !

  4. Noel Flannery

    George, Who am I to referee etc, do you know who actually wrote the Blog?
    Regarding my comment about Ireland as a role model ,It was based on an article that I read on the SARIO website a number of years back and also Slovakia’s tiger economy was mentioned many times and references to Ireland were made. In point of fact, I was being critical of the way the Irish economy was being managed.
    Again if it were actually taken on board what was written, the comment meant that, future Governments should take a long look at the mistakes made by Ireland and others like Ireland and learn from them. Role models can not only be shining example but also the opposite. Learning from mistakes and improving what works is the way forward. As for Stefan, Judging by the structure of his sentences I am sure he can convey himself adequately to be understood, as in get his point across. I am sure he uses a dictionary or translation tool, just as most native speakers use a dictionary or thesaurus.
    To quote my fellow countryman, Oscar Wilde: “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about” I think you like being talked about! And as for the author of the blog, it’s at the discretion or the author as to which comments are posted or not. I ask you to consider this, whilst criticism is always welcome and in my view, required, they should however, be constructive. So please try and be constructive instead of destructive.
    In regard to comments pertaining to gender, gender is not prerequsite for any job or role in life, in my opinion, abilities are what should define a persons suitability for a specific role. Physical, moral and intellectual abilities should be the only reprequsites, not gender colour or creed.
    Excesses in sarcasm and personal scathing attacks can be perceived as bully tactics!
    James, elements of sarcasm are welcome as I have said, as long as they are tastily, intelligently and carefully constructed and presented, which yours mostly were.
    I would also like to thank all commenter’s for their input and views, including George M.

  5. James Baxter

    Sorry but George’s last comment does need a response : please read the post-Radicova comment one more time, George. It says ‘I would take your comment your seriously’. There is a difference between a person and the comments they make. I don’t know you personally so I can only engage with what you choose to present on here and that is all I’ve been trying to do. I’d have appreciated at least that courtesy back.

    Debating with someone who can’t be bothered to read what I say (debate is an exchange of ideas , meaning you need to actually listen to or read what the other person says in the first place) is a pointless exercise. Claim victory if it pleases you but this is getting silly and I’ve had enough of it.

    • George M

      James , With respect , I think I will stick with my charges of you being pompous and sitting on a moral high horse of self richeous indignation ? Just read yourself a your last post a few times and then few times more ?

      Have you gone Slovak native out there in the woods outside out Bratislava….” I’d say it’s those comments more than anything else – just read them again one more time if you doubt me – that have turned the discussion intemperate.”’ …….so nothing now is your fault, it is someone else at fault and what was that grand speech further up the thread about people taking personal responsibility ?????? Oh , I guess the ‘sorry’ was a just a qualified one ?

      As for the ‘ so crushingly negative about it, to the point where, I’d suggest, any Slovak readers could feel belittled by what he says. ‘ ….eerrrr James pal, this is a debate forum, not an advertisement for the Slovak Tourist Board . I note however you did of course bring in the old forum racist card & chestnut that Slovaks will be insulted-belittled by some reader or others comments …..Do you not think it is time those poor, sensitive, native breed Slovaks moved into the Big World Pond and allow others to express an opinion, without some expat or local having some epileptic fit of denial ????

      Read more: The Pros and Cons of Slovakia | The Daily News – Slovakia http://www.thedaily.sk/2011/05/17/top-news/the-pros-and-cons-of-slovakia/#ixzz1MtIQtS2P

  6. James Baxter

    Noel, well said. For what it’s worth, I enjoyed the original piece and agreed with much of it. I’m also prepared to own up to the charge of sarcasm ; there are lines in my responses which were knowingly sarcastic and were intended to provoke. If they did more than that and hurt anyone, I’m sorry.

    I don’t know if it’s really worth pursuing this line (if it’s not, please feel free to moderate me) but I do still stand 100% by the middle paragraph of my last comment. I’m curious as to why someone who clearly knows a country well, and has done so for a long time, can be so crushingly negative about it, to the point where, I’d suggest, any Slovak readers could feel belittled by what he says. I’d say it’s those comments more than anything else – just read them again one more time if you doubt me – that have turned the discussion intemperate.

    That said, though, I realise I haven’t helped much and am probably still not helping, so probably just best to shut up, leave this one alone and hope someone latches onto my display of ignorance which follows the article about Hanlon’s sacking.

  7. George M

    James , If you back read to another forum, you would find that you started the ‘ personalisation’ of comments when you pompously said that ‘ you would take me more seriously’, if I did not refer the Prime Ministers gender and the problems this causes with her crass political choices .

    It would appear that the debate kitchen is getting a little too hot for you, as you currently claim you are depressed ? As you appear to enjoy over egging the pudding, with your own huge comments about the comments of others, rather than the actual content of the post, one has to ask why do you whine when others use the same tactics on you ?

    Perhaps Wyatt Earp you should consider actually getting off your moral high horse of self richeous indignation and perhaps walking back in town ?

  8. George M

    Whoooo Noel , did someone ever vote you here as referee, umpire or the moral compass of this or any other debate ??? Do we need a passport to get into your own small world? The fact is, that in most debates the idea IS TO TAKE SUBTLE. BUT CRITICAL LUMPS out of those against your own view. As for Stefan and his English, how will he know he reads like he wrote in his ditty in Slovak and then put through ‘Google Translate’, if no one has the courage to tell him . The same goes for your rather odd comment over immunity or impunity of MP’s and Ministers …unless someone from outside the restricted box tells the Slovaks this is not acceptable behavior for a country with EU membership, do you think this little law will ever change ? The Slovak people are not going to change this, as whoever is in Government, is not working for the benefit of the community ( say the Roma, the Old , the Handicapped, the Poor ), they are there to balance a budget for the Euro, create conditions for Investors and fill their own or their political party’s pockets as fast as they can .

    As for your Ireland comment , well only a uninformed moron would have believed that ‘jewel ‘ was not going to come crashing down at some point, as only the wild spending into buildings projects, by changing all that hidden Black Money, before the Pund-Euro exchange, that did fuel the boom, that recently went very bust and bailout. Hindsight plays no part in my own comments, just common sense . I see no fiscal reason you for your comment that Slovakia to ever consider stupid Ireland as their future role model, but less the millions of mistakes ??

    Still at least Ireland were trying , eh Noel ????

  9. James Baxter

    ‘and did not think your own observations where written in stone, for us all to read until the end of the world…’

    George, I don’t think that. This is a debate where, you know, we get to give our opinions. I disagree with yours, you disagree with mine, that’s fair enough. Trouble is, though, you’re in danger of over-personalising matters ; ‘if you were a little less pompous’ , something about my ‘undercourage’ (whatever that may be) in another post etc etc.

    I’m curious about what you say, given that you seem to know the country so well yet are so outstandingly negative about it, and I even think there are elements of truth in some of it. But it comes across as just absolute, unmitigated spleen. I can’t imagine ever feeling like that about any country, let alone one I’ve lived in for the last 8 years. That’s basically why I’ve been writing critical responses, not because I want everyone to convert to my vision of the world. Even if I did want that, I’d clearly be on to a loser in your case.

    If I missed out on your humour, I’m sorry. The last line of your last post – ‘then you would see the and start to look on brighter side of life’ – did raise a smile, you may be glad to hear, and not only because I was getting on perfectly happily with my life, until this debate started to depress me.

    • Noel Flannery

      Hey guys calm down a bit, all the comments are good, some better but all good in their own way at the end of the day. So what if Stefan’s English is not a proficient as others he is trying and thats what counts. There are three main schools of English anyway, but for Pete’s sake lets not get started on that. Many of the comments come from well informed and traveled people. Slovakia has its warts, every country has, I am Irish/ English, a foot on either side of the fence, if you like. I remember Ireland when it was an almost third world country and when she was the jewel in the crown and yes our economy was the one to model yours on, as stated by a Slovak official, who escapes me at this time. And this is still relevant today, AVOID THE MISTAKES WE MADE! But we took some good steps also, C.A.B http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criminal_Assets_Bureau for instance. But I am sure we can all learn from each other and that the point of debate or bloggs.
      Personal attacks however subtle prove nothing and remember sarcasm is the lowest for of wit. Yes debate, yes argue, but try not to take lumps out of each other. Talk about pro’s and con’s weigh them and by doing this hopefully we can make things better, This immunity or impunity which ever you prefer ( I opt for the latter) that Government ministers have, revoking this would be a major step forward. I am not a Slovak citizen and I could be told to mind my own business and who would I be to argue.

  10. George M

    Stefan , Sadly your written English is quite poor and difficult to follow/understand sometimes , but if I may comment on some points what I believe you said . Firstly , Slovaks love to kid themselves they are wellor highly educated , they are not . The Slovak education system from 4-23 is one of the poorest in the EU , have you not been reading the many damming articles in the newspapers about this ? I also still find it amazing that Slovaks still measure each other and in respect , in some Caste system by their final education . Mr Ing xxx, Mgr xxx etc ,etc . Many quite bright people I know fear to apply for a job outside there education or because they dont have the correct education …I dont mean a Doctor etc …but do you really need a Finance degree to be able to be an accountant ???

    Secondly, And ‘I wait for remark about its all ‘Cuisine’ ;-) )) So i say! more about qualities of food in Slovakia, types of food, the history of food, and so on

    One thing I am very critical is the quality of Slovak food ? Other than Slovaks who actually wants over cooked sour cabbage soups , or you can have anything as long as it with pork or paprika ??? Anyone actually tried fried Carp ….YUK !

    James , I do have great sense of humor and irony injected in my comments, but clearly you have failed to take you own happy pill that morning when reading mine. Perhaps if you a little less pompous and did not think your own observations where written in stone, for us all to read until the end of the world , then you would see the and start to look on brighter side of life .

  11. Paul Taylor

    ‘there are security experts in this country that sit in a room planning scenarios while stuffing their faces with Bryndza halusky and knocking back the old ‘Domaca Slivovica‘ Which part of this for example is news? its a poor opinion!!!

    Why do you think this is a poor opinion, did these events not happen? Where was the “Goal Keeper” or the person or team who intercept target Items from leaving the control zone or exercise area? Does this make sense? I understand the logic using a random person to act as a mule, but I do not see why they could not use one of there own from a different region.
    It would be interesting to see what would unfold if a real threat such as a highly trained para-military or criminal organisation were to seriously try something. I am not talking about the home grown Tony Soprano “wanna be’s” that parade around in plain view, and the aspiring wanna be’s who ponce about imitating them, maybe hoping to be recruited.

  12. James Baxter

    Haven’t been in a McD’s for 13 years and never ever touch Slovak fast-food so there’s another benefit of living here – I’m healthier. Add in the countryside, almost all of which is publicly accessible (unlike in England, where one step the wrong side of a wall or something can put you on private property) to go cycling and walking in, cheap swimming in an Olympic-sized pool etc etc and you start to see that the opportunities for keeping active are also pretty good.

    It’s good to be critical for sure and occasional spleen-venting can be good for the soul but, for me at least, George goes far beyond this. His posts are either a wind-up, in which case the odd trace of humour wouldn’t go amiss, or he’s entirely serious, in which case he reminds me of those old colonial British types in India or Africa who used to rant about the natives, how dishonest the servants were etc.

  13. Stefan B

    wow did i write all that above?? thats why i am late for work!! :-(

  14. Stefan B

    John: Are Pros & Cons the same as Advantages or Disadvantages? ;-) if so! the

    advantages:of being in Slovakia are is peace and tranquility, small community environment, long well kept traditions, cultural events, no road tax, wonderful contrast between its country side, mountains which can be overlooked by its cities around the country, better standard of living, NO terrorist groups!!! Higher level of education system! the possible

    Disadvantages: could be put like this, a lot of buracracy, high tax, unstable system in the govenment, relativly bad state transport system, Educated people but very inexperienced at the same time, the presence of corruption, which can be found often around Slovakia, our police prioroties can be often not as effective as our brother countries in the EU. I seem to find this constructive information for such website to author in connection with the pros & cons or Advantages & Disadvantages! the trash text above is focused around the pubs of Bratislava and the Prices of pubs in and around BA Do families and other visitors ‘WHO ARE NOT INTERESTED IN BA PUBS’ want to find this repetative informations about the pub prices and theft around it?? this was my main point! to write an article for The Daily was a kind offer, but working as an accountant in Slovakia also has its disadvantage of being over worked! :-( many hours in the office!! compared to my 9-5 standard job which i did in the UK, which would come under one advantage of working in UK, comparred to my Slovakian conditions!! :-( it reminds me of my days in the UK!! the difference between reading trash articles in The Sun :-) (for the stag parties) or ‘The Times or The Daily Mail’ Dont get me wrong!! The Suns page 3 was special :-)

    I think the man writer of these pub blogs which i see has been called a liar in one blog advert and slander in another :-) needs to be more creative, and instead of you debating in defence to all this blog, maybe call the blog ‘at the pub this week’ and ‘at the pub next week’ :-) ) or stag night in BA :-) )

    Slovakia is a ‘teenager’ in the EU what do you call a new writer? Beginner, novice, amature, junior my dictionary has found many…. maybe someone can help with this? I am sure John will ;-0

    And ‘I wait for remark about its all ‘Cuisine’ ;-) )) So i say! more about qualities of food in Slovakia, types of food, the history of food, and so on ;-) that can start a new article ??? not? you have an expression i remember! something like Blind man leading Blind man??

    But keep up the good work in the real time matters, i read it all the time.. i think other professional and respectable families do like me…

    I wait in intrest :-) must go Have a nice day!!

  15. Naff

    Mc’s is not a restaurant in my books, its a pit stop of sorts. Sorry not a fan of Ronald, unless it was your phone you refer to? Anyway very interesting view points with a distinct pattern. Ok The girls are cute here, yes, but remind me how many Miss Worlds have been Slovak again? Yes its nice and peaceful at times, but there is obviously more as we are all here and not at home in our native lands. My main reason is a little blue eyed blonde.

  16. George

    I’m happy living in Slovakia – The reason are personal , so please excuse me for not listing them, as these would be quite boring . However , as with James Baxter Three things get me down :

    1.Slovak people who can’t find positive things to say about their own country and wonder why on earth anyone would ever visit it?….. Well other than the High Tatra ( just as expensive as the Alps , with far less services ) Why would anyone want to visit Slovak ? I am just trying to think of any “wonder of the world” any tourist could even spend more than an hour visiting ? The River Boat tours sum it up , arrive BA at 2pm , gone by 7 am the next morning ?

    2. The failure of people to take responsibility for their own failings and, instead, to blame everything on somebody else’s unfairness, manipulation of the rules etc. Try being a schoolteacher at Maturita time, if you really want to know how annoying and downright offensive this trait can be.

    True …never a Slovaks fault always someone else !!!!

    3. Foreigners who’ve been here for years and spend all their time whingeing. Can’t claim to be totally innocent of this myself but, honestly, if it’s that bad, just leave…..Well a huge glup of richeous indignation there James …I find it is not expats whinging, but screeming in utter frustration. There is is this misconception that companies invest here because there is a bright, well educated and skilled workforce . BOLONEY ! There are here because the vast majority of Slovak people are dumb , afraid and very cheap labor ….

    In short , we have a duty to stay here and educate these people , and demand from them that there is a better way, other than just saying no, because that is not part of their job, customers do matter, no you cannot just steal from your employer, the state , the guy next door to better your own life, yes you do have to work longer than 8-4pm to expect a better life . In short , stop being jealous of peoples hardworking success and growing wealth, but admire and toast their efforts !

    All I ever see from expats is that we make huge excuses for Slovaks failings …What ever God you pray too ,he helps those that help themselves. (but not to the mobile in pocket whilst in McDonalds )

  17. You know what I mean by Just facts – with no other comments or opinions or background thrown in.

  18. James Baxter

    I agree with Mike and, to an extent, with Britski Belasi, John and the author.

    The thefts and rip-offs need reporting and this, being a locally-based news service, has a duty to report them. But the championship was a big event and these things happen. You”ll never get a blemish-free event of this size – witness football tournaments, music festivals etc.

    Overall, I’m happy living in Slovakia – and even happier to live in the provinces rather than in Bratislava. Three things get me down :

    1.Slovak people who can’t find positive things to say about their own country and wonder why on earth anyone would ever visit it.
    2. The failure of people to take responsibility for their own failings and, instead, to blame everything on somebody else’s unfairness, manipulation of the rules etc. Try being a schoolteacher at Maturita time, if you really want to know how annoying and downright offensive this trait can be.
    3. Foreigners who’ve been here for years and spend all their time whingeing. Can’t claim to be totally innocent of this myself but, honestly, if it’s that bad, just leave.

    John, a minor point. What is ”factual interpretation of the news” exactly? Surely, facts and interpretation are two different things? This goes back to an earlier argument about having a comments section below a straight news story.

    Obviously, this is a blog piece, almost designed to encourage debate. And an interesting debate it is too.

  19. Fair enough John, it is true that I dip in and out of reading the site depending on how well connected I am at the time. I can’t help but point out that the majority of the links above are to articles published before the start of the tournament ;-)

  20. I know what you mean Belasi, but it wasn’t so much that we tried to concentrate on the negatives, it was just that the thefts and stuff had to be reported, and they were coming frequently.
    I was always positive about the tournament and think it was great that it took place here and everything went well. We did try also to present the positives, but through lack of capacity it was not always enough.
    http://www.thedaily.sk/2011/05/06/top-news/the-el-classico-hockey-match-of-central-europe/
    http://www.thedaily.sk/2011/05/10/top-news/bratislava-hotels-enjoying-80-occupancy-rate/
    http://www.thedaily.sk/2011/05/04/top-news/mayor-ftacnik-opens-hockey-square-in-bratislava/
    http://www.thedaily.sk/2011/04/29/top-news/bratislava-airport-puts-on-its-ice-hockey-kit/
    http://www.thedaily.sk/2011/04/28/ice-hockey-wc/special-rail-ticket-for-iihf-world-championships/
    http://www.thedaily.sk/2011/04/27/top-news/bratislava-plants-paints-and-prims-for-hockey-championships/
    http://www.thedaily.sk/2011/04/26/top-news/phone-application-for-hockey-fans-also-via-bluetooth/
    http://www.thedaily.sk/2011/04/13/top-news/bratislava-stadium-given-the-thumbs-up/
    http://www.thedaily.sk/2011/04/07/top-news/bratislava-may-day-celebrations-kickoff-summer-season/
    http://www.thedaily.sk/2011/04/06/top-news/bratislava-starts-to-put-on-its-hockey-makeup/

    Overall, we tried to balance it, but obviously had to report the negative news as well, but certainly not as negative the approach to Slovakia expressed in some of the comments here.
    As I said above, I also think people are too critical of Slovakia without appreciating the positive sides.
    I really appreciate all your comments, that is what The Daily is about (have you taken part in a debate on the other service Stefan?), and through them we can improve as well. I want The Daily to be a community news service, not just straight factual interpretation of the news.

  21. George M

    Cynical, Moi ?

  22. Interesting debate, I must admit throughout the hockey championships I have been struck by the number of negative-toned reports associated with the tournament throughout the media. While some of the stories obviously have to be reported, it gives the impression the media is not trying to support the tournament and promote the positives. Very cynical indeed, but perhaps that is a culture thing I need to come to terms with.

    I appreciate that you [The Daily] are reporting the news, and I also appreciate that this particular piece is in the blog section and therefore more opinion based, and does present both sides of the discussion. However, I was disappointed that from The Daily’s side, you weren’t able to produce one positively-toned article on the tournament [excluding my own - please correct me if I'm wrong]. As you know, I run my own blog, and I personally find my readership quite enjoy the occasional positive story.

    Everybody has a choice to make, and I for one now how to concentrate on the pros rather than the cons in any given situation. It is strange that is the expats who have chosen to come and live here are the ones who are debating whether it is good or not. Personally, if I so deeply disliked living in a certain place, I would go and live somewhere else. Each to their own, I love Slovakia.

  23. Dear Stefan, you should notice that this article is listed under The Daily Blog, i.e. the section where people get to express their opinions and produce debate on the subject. This section is not intended to be news and you will not find any ‘news’ articles in it. This is in a ‘separate; forum. That is the whole point of the blog section. You want to read news, read the other sections. The Daily works differently from the other news service you mentioned.
    Referring to your earlier comment about ‘contradiction’, the article is called Pros and Cons, meaning the good and bad sides, not pushing just one opinion. You and everyone else, including cynical George (whose comments I enjoy), are more than welcome to write your own piece for The Daily Blog section. It would be more than welcome.

  24. Stefan B

    John from the article ‘there are security experts in this country that sit in a room planning scenarios while stuffing their faces with Bryndza halusky and knocking back the old ‘Domaca Slivovica‘ Which part of this for example is news? its a poor opinion!!!

    secondly: ‘It almost makes the movie “Hostel” seem plausible,’ is that ‘introspective look at events in Slovakia’ :-) )) As George correctly said! the girls are nice here!! its why your here correct? ;-) News is for reading and acknoledging what is going on around us, not direct attacks like mentioned abouve about our security firms, and a Czech film called ‘Hostel’ that is not news… its opinions….. and its negative… News could be nutural, this information should be in a seperate forum… Unless your intention is to provoke people to write here in this way? there is another website called Spectator!! its nutural reading… no provocation of opinions :-)

  25. I honestly feel sorry for you both that you are so negative about Slovakia. It is always easier to find fault and complain about things and people than it is to praise and appreciate, which is why there are so many cynics, especially here. Slovakia is much better off than most countries of the world, the living conditions are far better for a large part of the population, and it doesn’t even suffer natural disasters, famine or war conflicts. I tend to look for the good things, even though my work reporting the news means that we have to focus more on the negative, which you guys are well happy with. For your information Stefan, I believe The Daily provides a valuable news service because it is the only one in English that tries to give more of an introspective look at events in Slovakia on a daily basis, and we try to report things as they happen. It is also intended to be a platform for people living or interested in the country to speak to each other and share opinions, so you are entirely entitled to give yours. I have a lot of qualms about this country the same as anyone, but I am not so blind as not to appreciate the advantages and good things about Slovakia, and the haven it provides for lost foreigners like George M and many more who come here for the long haul. At least George an insight, while most foreigners here have no clue about what is going on here. The Daily is trying to help change that and we do our work for free, but even that often goes unappreciated.

    • George M

      Whoooow John , You think Bratislava is a must see & visit place , rather than Rome or Paris ? …………………….Are you blind ? ( Said best in French accent ! )

      The fact is Bratislava is Boring and a Dump …less that a dump I accept than when I first came here in 1997 , but a dump . Total Town Planning in non existent and a joke, the river until very recently, undeveloped for people and social use , roads full of holes and traffic management still in the 1960′s Can anyone tell me why a quick tram does not cross the river to a huge housing estate or run to the City Airport ? Perhaps it is because hardly any planes fly from there, or all the Taxi firms have bribed the town Major’s ??? Are there regular street events as in Budapest , street markets as in Praha ??? Most of the social events in Bratislava are the best kept secrets and you tend to fall apon them rather than go to them . The only time you really hear about them is on the evening TV news and too late .

      The fact is, even when there is an event that could attract some tourists and family , the neo-thugs turn up , whilst the police fire tear gas and the Police Minister claims that the Gay group organizing the party , should have arranged better security for themselves .

      I could go on , but I would be accused of being negative …rather than be plain truthful .

      Peace and quiet is Slovakia’s only real ‘living here’ selling point , well other than the pretty girls :-)

      • Noel Flannery

        Yes, good view point, but remember The new Slovak Republic is only a teenager. Many Capitals have shitty airport connections. Getting to JFK is a nightmare and expensive. Heathrow, Stanstead and Gatwick is much the same but BA ain’t London.As for Dublin Airport, give me a break.
        But you said it its getting better. But as long as people are moaning silently then this is what happens. Roads have improved drastically here as a biker I can vouch this, Irish roads are terrible and do not get me started on the roads in the U.S. B.A is a tiny capital and yes thats the beauty of it and it quiet and safe. Praha, hmmm ok bigger but better? not so sure. Pro’s and con’s my man pro’s and con’s.

  26. George M

    This is a all a bit rosie tinted glasses , is it not ?

    OK so what have the Roman’s done for us ……………Slovakia on the whole has a hell of a lot going for it, spectacular mountains, ( so does half of Europe ) tons of lakes ( even more of Europe ! ) , cascading rivers ( errrr, OK this is getting boring ) , and so on. It is slap bang in the centre of Europe ( Hardly a selling point ) and is steeped in history and culture, ( Sorry , There is more ‘Culture’ in a yogurt ) more castles than you can shake a stick at. ( I can only think of two, all the the others are in total disrepair.)

    The fact is Slovakia , does not have much going for it over most of Europe ….except total peace and quiet ….which you can shake a stick at . :-)

    • Stefan B

      Contradictions…. Are Slovak petty thief’s or best land in the EU ?? George M good response! If we didn’t already sell our history, then it was not worth selling!! Our Castle and state is in ruins :-) ))) Bratislava is the ugliest city in Europe, Grey and dull…… This blog is worse than Facebook :-) but what the hell…. cannibal story is news, hostel is an invitation to critism, My question to the daily news is! is this site about news or debata? sorry for my english writing :-(

      • Naff

        Pro et contra, Latin, something the Romans gave us. Pro et contra; is the argument for, and against, one says one thing and the other contradicts. Or as we know it, Pro’s and Con’s, the process in which we weigh almost everything in life, it creates discussion, reasoning and ultimately a result. Facebook hmm, interesting analargy indeed. Many Pro’s and Con’s regarding Facebook formerly The Facebook, but that’s another story. Though I am sure Mr Zukerberg weighed his Pro’s and Con’s.
        Why was the blog written? I believe at this time there is a lot of negativity floating about in the media. Some of it is so ridiculous its beyond belief. So what if the Czech Prez nicked a pen, but did he really. Was it in fact his in the first place. Was there a beer on the table at which the Slovak P.M sat whilst in the U.K? Ok let’s make it a negative, show a picture and draw a yellow circle around it. How incredulously irrelevant was that. And yet T.V and printed media ran with it. So bloody what, there was a beer on the table, who’s beer was it anyway. Who cares if Václav Klaus pocketed a pen, or if Iveta is partial to beer, who knows and who really cares? There are others in positions of prominence doing a hell of a lot worse.
        Yes the are bigger and better castles and lakes, though Spišský hrad is considered one of the biggest castles in Europe. Many are in bad repair, yes they are, I think it adds to the character or would you prefer the Disney style Carcassonne Type. For example when you visit Dukla and see the preserved T34 and Mark IV Panzers, its nice, its interesting, but when you see the blown out ones your imagination gets to work, why, how, who were the men. I believe the same for castles etc. Why has Ireland so many ruined castles, some are just piles of rubble, if then you ask the question, the information and imagination flows, Ah Cromwell, nice guy Mr. Cromwell. But someone did something about his way of life and the monarchy was restored and things improved.
        See the negative, focus on the positive and make it better, but if you go through life thinking life is crap, everything is crap, other places are better, then that’s exactly how it will be. Being compared to Facebook, ok, thanks, Facebook is a resounding success; most of the people who moan about it are actually on it. Everyone loves to hate Ryan air but most of us fly with Ryan air, strange that,,,, eh.
        SO keep the comments flowing, if you present con’s add a few pro’s and see if your view changes? All things change, and we change with them. Another little something from the “Romani”. Quod Romani faciet nobis, quite a lot actually

  27. Good post.

    Sometimes it seems to me (as an outsider) that the Slovaks tend to shoot themselves in the foot and sometimes under appreciate what they have. It’s a big pity that silly things like stealing your own countrymen’s hockey memorabilia happens and blemishes otherwise positive things.

Leave a Reply

*

Photo Gallery

The Daily.SK, Language Sense, s.r.o., Bratislava © 2010