News digest: Smashing golf balls across the Danube is not OK, authority decides

Harmony Cardenas

US First Lady to visit Slovakia, Matovič fined for violating anti-pandemic measures, and aviation festival returns to Piešťany.

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Good afternoon. Here is a quick summary of the main news of the day in our Friday, May 6, 2022 edition of Today in Slovakia. Get up to date in less than 5 minutes.

Instead of golf balls, German environmentalist will swim in the Danube

An event known as the Dunaj Golf Challenge was due to have taken place in Bratislava this weekend. It would have involved people attempting to strike golf balls across the Danube River. Although the organiser, the Slovak Golf Association, declared that ecological, biodegradable balls would be used, the Slovenský Vodohospodársky Podnik (SVP, or Slovak Water Management Company), has decided to halt the event.

The Za živé rieky (For Living Rivers) environmental initiative considers the plan to hold the event to be disrespectful to the river and local wildlife, given that hundreds of balls would likely end up in the river. It compared it, in terms of its lack of environmental sensitivity, to an infamous horse polo match that was held on the frozen Štrbské Pleso mountain lake in 2011.


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Ironically, the golf event was scheduled to take place on May 6-8, at exactly the same time as German professor Andreas Fath is due to reach Bratislava as part of a 2,700-km-long swim along the Danube to highlight pollution of the river.


Refugees from Ukraine

  • A total of 3,406 people from Ukraine entered Slovakia via the Slovak-Ukrainian border on Thursday, May 5, of which 808 were men, 2,014 women and 584 children. The overall number of refugees who have come to Slovakia since the war started is almost 397,400; more than 74,000 have asked for temporary protection here.
  • So far, 3,160 refugees from Ukraine have been provided with emergency and accident health care, of which 1,492 were children under the age of 18, the National Health Information Centre (NCZI) reported.

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Photo of the day

A shipping accident took place on the Slovak part of the Danube River in the early hours of Friday, May 6, when a pleasure boat, the Viking Aegir, crashed into the pillar of a railway bridge near Komárno (Nitra Region), leaving several people slightly injured. Following the accident, the boat made it to the state dock at Komárno.


Today’s feature story

“If culture remains, the nation lives.” This was the credo by which Meda Mládková, an art historian, collector and patron, lived.

This highly educated, well-informed and tenacious lady played a crucial role in the Czechoslovak visual arts scene, despite living abroad form much of her life. She died at the age of 102 on May 3, 2022.

In an interview for Czech public radio broadcaster Český Rozhlas, she said that she was at her happiest in Paris. There she studied art history and met her husband, the economist Jan Mládek, as well as artist František Kupka, for whom she immediately started lobbying.



She had an eye for art. Slovakia could use at least two like Meda Mládková Read more 


Anniversary of the week

Slovakia will mark the 77th anniversary of the end of WWII on May 8.


In other news

  • First Lady of the United States Jill Biden will meet Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová during a visit to Slovakia on May 8-9, CNN reported.
  • Bratislava Airport is warning passengers who plan to depart on the evening of Saturday, May 7, in the morning of Sunday, May 8, or at around lunchtime on Monday, May 9, to arrive at the airport at least two hours before their scheduled departure times. The planned visit by US First Lady Jill Biden will mean that extra security measures and restrictions will be in place at the airport and on the access road, which may lead to delays.
  • The aviation festival is returning to Piešťany after a two-year break caused by the Covid pandemic. It will be held at the city’s airport between Friday, May 6 and Sunday, May 8 and will also feature a night-time airshow and the Aeroexpo exhibition of aeroplanes.
  • Finance Minister and leader of the ruling OĽaNO party Igor Matovič received a €250 fine for repeated violations of anti-pandemic measures, the Regional Office of Public Health (RÚVZ) in Bratislava has announced.
  • Most shops in Slovakia will be closed on Sunday, May 8, as it is a national holiday, celebrating victory over fascism in WWII.
  • The European Commission has amended a proposal for a European embargo on Russian oil, extending the period before it takes effect for Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Under the tweaked proposal, Hungary and Slovakia will continue to be able to buy Russian oil from pipelines until the end of 2024, while the Czech Republic can continue to buy Russian oil until June 2024, provided that it does not get oil via a pipeline from southern Europe earlier, the Reuters newswire reported, citing two sources.

Do not miss on Spectator.sk:



Weekend: From “Outlaw Express” ride to hitting ski slopes for the last time Read more 

Hnúšťa to open museum with underground tours Read more 

Bratislava sets new height limits for buildings Read more 

Slovak prince conserved in Germany on the way home Read more 


If you have any suggestions for how this news overview can be improved, you can reach us at [email protected]

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