In 1998, the Slovak Republic was a small Central European nation located between the Czech Republic and Austria with a population of around 5.4 million people. The official language was Slovak and the currency was the Koruna. The government was a parliamentary democracy headed by Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar, who had been in office since 1994. Slovakia’s economy in 1998 relied heavily on industry, with its main exports being machinery, vehicles, and electronics. Tourism also played an important role; Slovakia had many natural attractions such as mountains, forests, and rivers which attracted visitors from all over Europe. Education was highly valued in Slovakia; literacy rates were higher than average for Central European countries at around 98%. Despite economic difficulties due to its small size and limited resources, Slovakia had managed to maintain its unique culture and traditions which provided hope for a brighter future. See dentistrymyth for Slovakia in the year of 2015.
Slovakia. During the eventful year, the country detached itself from prolonged political paralysis and international isolation. The political paralysis heard that Parliament failed five times to elect a new president after the outgoing Head of State Michal Kováč. According to Countryaah, the capital of Slovakia is Bratislava. The presidential power was thus transferred to the arch-enemy of Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar, who immediately exercised his extended powers and dismissed half of Slovakia’s ambassadors, all appointed by Kováč.
Four months before the parliamentary elections, the self-proclaimed Mečiar failed to persuade Parliament to change the electoral law to stop election alliances and to ban electoral propaganda in private media. It was angered by the opposition that during the election, Mečiar managed to get international celebrities to stand on the part of the dubious politician. The four opposition parties in the Slovak Democratic Coalition (SDK) – which includes everything from the conservative Christian Democrats to the environmental party – won the election by a large majority even though the Mečiars Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (Hnutie za Demokrické Slovensko, HZDS) became the largest single party with 27% of the votes. As Mečiar’s party lacked a coalition partner, SDK’s leader, 43-year-old Mikuláš Dzurinda, had to form the new government. Some of the first decisions were to allow the overvalued Slovak krona to flow and that the president should continue to be elected directly by the people, which meant that Mečiar was completely out of Slovakia’s political life. The EU, NATO and the OSCE welcomed the Slovak changes and promised to help break the country’s isolation.
- Abbreviationfinder: What does SVK stand for in geography? Here, this 3 letter acronym refers to the country of Slovakia.
A major reason for the right-wing turn was that social democracy in the wake of the 2015 refugee disaster had led a sharp anti-migration policy. The consequence was that the party was almost halved, and when the electorate nevertheless listened to xenophobia, they moved even further on the right wing. The same trend could be recorded across Europe. When the Social Democracy was right-radicalized, it lost its core voters, and at the same time the radical right wing was strengthened. In September 2015, Prime Minister Fico EU commented on the Commission’s proposal for the distribution of refugees in Europe following a quota system: “As long as I am Prime Minister, no compulsory quota system will be introduced in Slovakia”. And then the Social Democrat became increasingly skeptical in his anti-Muslim rhetoric: “There are thousands of terrorists and and IS fighters entering Europe with the migrants”; “We monitor every single Muslim in Slovakia”; and in May 2016, he declared that Slovakia would not allow a single Muslim entry. On the issue of refugees and immigrants, there was no longer a difference between social democracy and the extreme right wing.
The neo-fascist L ‘SNS organized demonstrations against Roma and refugees in January, March, June, July and October 2016.
In February 2018, 27-year-old freelance journalist Ján Kuciak and his girlfriend Martina Kušnírová were shot and killed in the city of Vel’ka Mača outside Bratislava. Kuciak was investigating corruption that linked the government to businessmen and the Italian mafia. The killings initially cost the Interior Minister his post, but by mid-March the scale of national and international protests was so great that Prime Minister Robert Fico was also forced to leave his post. But that did not slow down the protests. In mid-March, the Movement «For a proper Slovakia» conducted demonstrations in 34 Slovakian cities and 25 cities abroad demanding new elections. Alone in Bratislava participated approx. 50,000 in the demonstration.
Architecture. – Characterized by a considerable medieval historical heritage, the country has recorded, since the beginning of the 21st century. onwards, a building growth that has profoundly changed the profile of the cities. At the heart of the development was the capital Bratislava, where many new, interesting buildings were built. Inaugurated in 2005, the Apollo bridge, designed by Dopravoprojekt as, immediately became one of the symbols of the city’s rebirth, the only European project selected among the finalists of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) award.
Also worthy of note is the new headquarters of the Slovak National Theater, designed by architects Martin Kusý, Pavol Paňák and Peter Bauer which, after 21 years of work, was inaugurated in 2007; the offices of the company Strabag – SKC Bratislava (2007), on the edge of the historic center, designed by MHM architects; the multipurpose sports center Relaxx (2008) of the AK2 studio; the Omnipolis administration building (2009) within the existing Omnia campus, by Hantabal Architekti & AFR; the Viktoria Building, a multifunctional building built in a border area between the residential and commercial areas of the city, the work of the Grido studio, inaugurated in 2010; the refurbishment of the Ondrej Nepela Arena ice stadiumby the Fischer Architects studio, reopened to the public in 2011. Finally, the elliptical towers that appear in the masterplan for the Bratislava Culenova New City Center, drawn up by Zaha Hadid, are the result of a competition to transform the identity of the metropolis. banned in 2010.
Outside the capital are still to be remembered: the library of the Technical University Campus (2009) by architects Juraj Koban, Karol Gregor, Štefan Pacák and the residential complex Nová Terasa (2013) by Vallo Sadovsky Architects, both in Košice, the second city of the S .; the Phoenix Zeppelin offices (2011) by Paulíny Hovorka Architekti + Stefan Moravcik architectural atelier, in Banská Bystrica; the library of the Catholic University (2013) of Ružomberok, in the northern Slovakia, by the atelier a02.