Slovakia: A late-night slap in the face
Last Sunday, Slovakia’s national football team Jan Kozak unexpectedly resigned after being defeated in a derby against the Czech Republic (1-2) in the UEFA Nations League. While the announcement came as a surprise for everyone, most commentators thought M. Kozak, who had been Slovakia’s coach since 2013, called it quits due to the recent string of defeats and mounting pressure. Turns out everyone was wrong.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Jan Kozak said he had resigned after finding seven of the team’s players returning from late-night partying following the Czech defeat. “It hurt terribly, as if someone spat all over me. Like a slap in the face”, he said, adding that he was “terribly disappointed” by their behaviour. He named Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka, Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar, Perugia defender Norbert Gyomber and Vigo midfielder Stanislav Lobotka as some of the guilty merrymakers.
“I could pretend I didn’t see them. Or I could sack them all… but could I really?”, M. Kozak said, calling them “players with great quality”. “Frankly, I can’t imagine the future of Slovak football” without them, “so I decided to end my stint with the national team”.
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Czech Republic: Breaking it bad
According to a report by Germany’s federal drug commissioner Marlene Mortler, released on Thursday, the Czech Republic is where most of the crystal methamphetamine available in Europe is produced. Last year, German police reported over 1.200 drug offenses linked to Czech methamphetamine, mostly consumed in the eastern and southern parts of Germany, according to Radio Praha. The Czech Republic has long been considered as one of the major producing hubs of methamphetamine sold on the German market.
According to the Czech Republic’s National Anti-Drug Centre, addiction to crystal methamphetamine in the country has surged in the past several years, especially among young people: while 25.000 of them were addicted to the drug a decade ago, their number rose to 35.000 today.
More news about the Czech Republic here.
Poland: Looking West for gas
Poland’s state-run energy company PGNiG announced on Wednesday that it had signed a 20-year deal to buy liquified natural gas (LNG) from the United States in a bid to further reduce its dependency on Russian gas. Poland currently imports two thirds of its gas from Russia.
The contract, hailed by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki as a guarantee of “sovereignty” and “competitiveness” for the Polish energy sector, plans to provide the country with 2m tonnes of gas per year, or 2.7bn cubic meters after re-gasification, with deliveries due to start in 2022. Poland’s energy minister highlighted that “in the Polish context, this gas is a civilizational good”.
Poland’s new LNG terminal on the Baltic port of Swinoujscie received its first order in 2015 as the country seeks to diversify its energy suppliers, looking to the U.S., but also other major world producers like Norway and Qatar to break free from Russian gas.
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