Slovakia. According to COUNTRYAAH, Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia which is located in Eastern Europe. Europe’s refugee crisis dominated the Slovak year. The left government under Robert Fico became one of the EU’s strongest opponents in the plan to distribute refugees in quotas to member states. Fico warned against migrants with terrorism coupling, saying that 95% did not flee dangers but sought financial benefits. The government said it could host 200 refugees, but they would not be Muslims but Christians to facilitate integration into Catholic society.
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In June, an anti-immigrant demonstration was held in the capital Bratislava under the motto “Stop the Islamization of Europe”. Ultranationalist and former Neo-Nazi politician Marian Kotleba called for the defense of Slovakia against its own government that welcomed refugees. Thousands of participants scanned “Slovakia for Slovaks!”. Many were arrested after the protest. A counter-demonstration gathered few participants.
Slovakia agreed to a request from Austria to temporarily host a few hundred of the Syrians who sought asylum there. Local residents protested, racist posts flooded the Internet, and the leader of Slovakia’s few Muslims testified to increased vulnerability and fear. According to an EU survey, 19% of Slovakians felt that the country needed legal migrants for the economy, the lowest figure in the EU. The corresponding figure for Swedes was 77%.
Together with the Czech Republic and Hungary, Slovakia voted in September against the EU refugee quota plan. The Slovak quota would be 802 asylum seekers, but Fico said no mandatory quotas would be accepted in the country as long as he was prime minister. The government decided to go to the European Court of Justice, and at the end of the year an appeal was lodged against the EU decision.
At the beginning of the year, Slovakia held a referendum on a ban on same-sex marriage and the right of homosexuals to adopt. The electoral debate was characterized by fierce moods, but the turnout was only about 21%. At least 50% was required for a valid result. Same-sex marriage is already banned in Slovakia, but opponents wanted to reduce the risk of the ban being torn down by referendum. About 90% of the voters wanted the ban.
In November, a Ukrainian-registered helicopter crashed in eastern Slovakia and at least six people were killed. The accident happened near the border with Ukraine, and according to the authorities, the helicopter tried to avoid surveillance in the Slovak airspace.
Literature . – Two decades after the consensual separation from Czechia, Slovak culture still shares with the Czech one the difficulties of the so-called minor literatures, intensified by further problems of international visibility, such as the absence of a world-famous classic that acts as a catalyst for a scene however lively and multifaceted literary. Furthermore, the protagonists of Slovak literature did not primarily cultivate a sense of homogeneity and continuity, giving instead more space to the demands of pluralism and disparity.
Some authors of various generations have made their way into the English-speaking book market, thus obviating the main problem of international customs clearance. Unfortunately, however, in Italy the Slovak literature continues to be one of the least translated literatures in the Central European geographical area, only rarely seeing the realization of meritorious dissemination efforts, as in the cases of Michal Hvorecký and Pavel Vilikovský. Both continue to produce interesting works: the former has evolved from a pop aesthetic to a more autobiographical writing, as in Eskorta (2007, Escort) and Dunaj v Amerike (2010, The Danube in America), the latter wrote a dense reflection on the evil of the 20th century, Vlastný životopis zla (2009, The autobiography of evil); other important historical novels are Námestie kozmonautov (2007, Astronauts Square) by Viliam Klimáček and two works by Pavol Rankov, Stalo sa 1. Septembra (aleboinokedy) (2008, It happened on the first of September, or maybe at another time) and Matky (2013, Mothers) which touches on the theme of the gulag.
Three currents are highlighted in the prose: that inspired by autobiographical experiences, as in the intense Sedem dní do pohrebu (2008, A seven days from the funeral) in which Ján Rozner describes the communist ‘normalization’, or in Ostrovy nepamäti (2008, Isole dell oblivion) by Alta Vášová; a second in the name of the grotesque (Márius Kopcsay, Vlado Balla); finally a feminist trend, with authors close to the cultural organization Aspekt, such as its founder Jana Juráňová (Žila som s Hviezdoslavom, 2008, I lived with Hviezdoslav), or Monika Kompaníková (Piata lod ′, 2010, The fifth boat).
For the poem we should mention the promising Katarína Kucbelová, one of the founders of the important literary prize Anasoft Litera; Martin Solotruk, between experimentalism and intimate lyricism; Michal Habaj, ready to play with the various hypostases of the lyric subject (see his poems written under the female pseudonym Anna Snegina); and the groundbreaking Peter Macsovszky, who also writes prose.