President Kiska Presents State Awards to 30 Public Figures

President Andrej Kiska, left, and singer Miroslav Zbirka, second right (photo by TASR)
Bratislava, January 8 (TASR) – President Andrej Kiska, at a ceremony marking the 26th anniversary of Slovakia’s independence on Tuesday, presented state awards to 30 personages of social and cultural life, including three in memoriam, TASR learnt on the same day.

Fifteen women and fifteen men have received the state honours from him in the Slovak Philharmonic in Bratislava.
The ceremony was also attended by Parliamentary Chairman Andrej Danko (Slovak National Party/SNS), Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD), Constitutional Court Chair Ivetta Macejkova, MPs, several ministers and other public life representatives.
The president in his address stressed that he had given awards to people who contributed to making Slovakia a better, nicer, wiser, more decent and more just place. According to him, the laureates are best in representing values on which Slovak society stands. He admitted that decision-making was difficult. “There are more people in Slovakia who deserve awards. Known and unknown citizens of the country whom we can be proud of,” noted Kiska.
The Order of Ludovit Stur, First Class was given to former government proxy for the Roma communities Klara Orgovanova, legal historian Katarina Zavacka, graphic designer Lubomir Longauer, Divadelna Nitra international theatre festival director Darina Karova, publisher Alexej Fulmek, skier Veronika Velez-Zuzulova, writer Jana Juranova, basketball player Zuzana Zirkova, actor Richard Stanke, murdered journalist Jan Kuciak (in memoriam), writer Dusan Mitana, tennis player Daniela Hantuchova, psychiatrist Peter Huncik, former ombudsman Jana Dubovcova, former culture minister Ladislav Snopko, and actor and former MP Magdalena Vasaryova. The military type of this award was given to retired Major General Svetozar Nadovic.
The Order of the Double Barred Cross, Second Class was given to Czech actor Josef Abrham and Czech lawyer and politician who served as the first Justice Minister of Czechoslovakia after the Velvet Revolution Dagmar Buresova (in memoriam).
Meanwhile, the Pribina Cross, First Class was bestowed on pop music singer Miroslav Zbirka, scientist Marian Valko, artist Jana Zelibska, scientist Maria Omastova, doctor and missionary Veronika Rackova (in memoriam), selective breeder Gyula Zalabai, double bassist Roman Patkolo, hardware architect Radoslav Danilak, children’s oncologist Maria Jasenkova, ethnographer and historian Zuzana Kumanova, and scientist Pavel Cheben active in integrated optics and photonics.