Bratislava, January 1 (TASR) – President Andrej Kiska, at a ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of Slovakia’s independence on New Year’s Day, presented state awards to several personages, including Velvet Revolution figure Fedor Gal, environmental activist Mikulas Huba and actor Zuzana Kronerova.
The ceremony was also attended by Parliamentary Chairman Andrej Danko (Slovak National Party/SNS) and Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer-SD).
The president in his address stressed that the awards should show where the roots of Slovakia’s success story are to be found, describing the laureates as “heroes with the courage to face evil and people able to do good without opportunism”.
The Order of Ludovit Stur, First Class for merits in the development of democracy and the protection of human rights was given to Gal, Huba, publisher Laszlo Szigeti, journalist Martin M. Simecka and university teacher Alexander Broestl.
Also the Order of Ludovit Stur, First Class, for merits in the development of culture, was given to musician Peter Breiner, actor Zuzana Kronerova and in memoriam compositor Ilja Zeljenka.
The Order of Ludovit Stur, Second Class was given to the 1944 Slovak National Uprising participant Otto Simko, translator Marta Lickova, activist Juraj Flamik and writer Alta Vasova.
The Order of Double Barred Cross, Second Class was bestowed to opera singer Gabriela Benackova, Czech singer Marte Kubisova, cameraman Vladimir Jesina and former Czech prime minister Petr Pithart.
The Pribina Cross, First Class was given to physicist Pavel Povinec, doctor Myron Maly, chemist Robert Mistrik, singer Marika Gombitova, and in memoriam actor Jozef Kroner and writer Rudolf Sloboda.
Meanwhile, the Pribina Cross, Second Class was awarded to Christian activist Marian Caucik, League against Cancer managing director Eva Kovacova and in memoriam folklorist Jan Lazorik.