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Ghost villages mar Slovakia's economic success

Harakovce, Slovakia

SLOVAKIA has been a star performer in Central Europe with a boom in car manufacturing driving brisk economic growth, but ghost villages haunt the countryside as people leave in search of jobs.

A white church has watched over Harakovce since villagers erected it in the century after the Black Death swept across Europe.

This village nestled among rolling hills dotted with forests and fields in this pastoral corner of eastern Slovakia has survived countless wars, but is now losing the battle as city jobs drain it of its lifeblood.

Today there are only six children among its 59 residents. Harakovce is far from unique. Until recently, around 40 per cent of Slovaks lived in villages...

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