Chopper inventors’ child situates us at UN body


Dr Mlynar addressing the audience

Ambassador Michal Mlynar of the Slovak Republic – where the helicopter and the parachute were invented – said this last Wednesday when he gave an interesting lecture called ‘Slovakia – a success story of a small country in the heart of Europe’.

During the meeting he hinted we would get the support of his country if we need it, explaining the alphabetical order of sitting would place us where his country was placed when it was a member of the UN body.

He said one good thing about being a member of the council is it does not matter which country any of the 15 members represent, they get to talk about and vote on all issues being debated, adding Seychelles would make a significant contribution.

His audience was made up mainly of university and other students when he gave an interesting lecture about his country after screening a film about the country.

This was at the University of Seychelles’ school of education auditorium where he led the activities, which marked the 20th anniversary of his country’s independence.

“The relations between my country and Seychelles are very good, very friendly. We do not have any open issues or problems and the ties are based on long-term partnership especially because many Seychellois studied in Czechoslovakia,” he said, citing Dr Patrick Herminie as one of the people who studied there.

He said Seychellois and Slovaks are very similar being frank, friendly and hospitable with rich cultural heritage.

Among the details Dr Mlynar gave include the fact that the Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic went their separate ways in 1993 in what is called the Velvet divorce, as assets were amicably divided and Slovakia has remained a close partner of the Czech Republic.

The Slovak landscape is noted for its beautiful mountains whose pictures he showed together with those of fertile agricultural land and caves.

Five million population Slovakia – which hosts the marked centre point of the European continent – has had the fastest growing economy in the European Union and is the world’s largest per capita maker of cars, thanks to high technical education and willing investors who make Volkswagen, Kia and Peugeot who have benefitted from relatively cheap but very skilled labour. The country makes 17 cars for every 100 citizens annually.

Nation later learned that Slovakia is an attractive country for foreign investors mainly because of its low wages, low tax rates and well educated labour force. In recent years, Slovakia has been pursuing a policy of encouraging foreign investment.

FDI inflow grew more than 600% from 2000 and cumulatively reached an all-time high of $17.3 billion in 2006, or around $22,000 per capita by the end of 2008.

Dr Mlynar said Sony has a factory in the Slovak Republic for LCD TV manufacture, a Samsung plant at Galanta for computer monitors and television sets.

Slovaks contributed to development of wireless telegraphy, constructed the first motor-driven helicopter and the first actively used parachute.

Aurel Stodola created a bionic arm in 1916 and pioneered steam and gas turbines while
John Dopyera made the first resonator guitar.

The last man to visit the Moon, Eugen Cernan, was an American astronaut of Slovak origin, he said.