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Arnold the eagle returns home ARNOLD, the eagle whose winter migration was monitored by environmentalists and the Slovak public, returned home from Africa on April 22. 23 Apr 2014
Gašparovič sees no need for NATO troops to come to Slovakia PRESIDENT Ivan Gašaparovič is convinced that there is no threat of a conflict between Russia and Ukraine, he said following the April 23 session of the Security Council, which he attended. 23 Apr 2014
Date for Hedviga trial not set yet THE NITRA District Court has not yet set a date for the Malinová case. 23 Apr 2014
Bomb threat stopped traffic in downtown Bratislava Locked TRAMS were suspended on Obchodna Street in downtown Bratislava the morning of April 23 after an anonymous person announced that a bomb had been placed in a bank on the street. 23 Apr 2014
Chief-of-General-Staff Vojtek asks to step down Chief-of-General-Staff of the Slovak Armed Forces Peter Vojtek has requested to be released from his post, Defence Minister Martin Glváč announced on April 22. Vojtek approached him with the request about a month ago, Glváč told the TASR newswire. Glváč said that he will present the issue to the Slovak Security Council. He will also propose former Ground Forces Supreme Commander Milan Maxim, currently Defense Attaché in the Czech Republic, as Vojtek’s successor. Glváč thanked Vojtek for his work, adding that he’s counting on using him as an advisor in the future. “My health problems have led me to the decision,” said Vojtek. “I won’t cut my ties with the uniform, however. There were times when [the military] was my first family.” Glváč said that he expects President Ivan Gašparovič to react to Vojtek’s request soon. “Due to the current situation in Ukraine and other tasks of the Armed Forces, I expect that the president will respond as soon as possible - be it a positive or negative response,” said Glváč, as quoted by TASR. 23 Apr 2014
Government to fast-track change on privatisation of state property Locked The Economy Ministry is proposing to change the privatisation act in order to enable Slovak state to sell its shares of Slovak Telekom on the stock exchange. The majority owner of Slovak Telekom shares, the Deutsche Telekom company, was promised that the sale via the exchange will start before this summer, the Sme daily wrote in its April 22 issue. A memorandum on cooperation stipulates that Slovakia shall start looking for an investment bank as advisor on the transaction as soon as this month. 23 Apr 2014
OSMS organises public gathering in support of Hedviga Žáková The Roundtable of Hungarians in Slovakia (OSMS) group on April 22 announced that it is organising a public gathering in Bratislava on April 30 in support of Hedviga Žáková (née Malinová) who nearly eight years ago “happened to be in the wrong place in the wrong time” and is now facing charges of providing false testimony concerning an alleged attack by Slovak nationalists. OSMS’s press conference on April 22 also featured representatives of ethnic-Hungarian parties Most-Híd, Béla Bugár, and Party of Hungarian Community (SMK), Guyla Bárdos and László Szigeti. “We’re remaining in the background. We support the event that is being organised by OSMS,” said Szigeti, as quoted by the TASR newswire. The event is also backed by the Reformed Christian Church, civil organisations such as Csemadok and the Association of Hungarian Parents in Slovakia. The Prosecutor-General’s Office earlier this month announced that it has pressed charges against Žáková for providing false testimony under oath. In August 2006, Žáková (who formerly went by the surname Malinová has since married) reported that she had been assaulted on her way to a university exam in Nitra. The police’s findings were released in September 2006, at a press conference by then interior minister Robert Kaliňák and then prime minister Robert Fico (both of whom currently hold the same positions), with Kaliňák stating “it is beyond doubt that the case did not happen”. He presented several pieces of evidence that he said backed his claim, including DNA samples. Kaliňák later went on to denounce her as a “pathological liar”. Žáková was charged in May 2007 with perjury and making false claims. The investigation of the case was closed in January 2014. 23 Apr 2014
Slovak police revamp patrol car fleet The Slovak Police Corps is carrying out the biggest revamp of patrol cars in its history. “They are replacing cars that have driven on average 300,000 kilometres or more, some 500,000 to 650,000 kilometres,” Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák told media on April 22, at the Volkswagen factory in Bratislava, where new VW Golf police patrol cars were handed over. 23 Apr 2014
UPDATED: Fico spoke with Biden on phone again PRIME MINISTER Robert Fico spoke with US Vice President Joe Biden by phone. The two discussed the situation in eastern Ukraine, the TASR newswire reported on April 17. 22 Apr 2014
Four construction firms involved in cartel excluded from tenders THE NATIONAL Highway Company (NDS) has excluded four construction companies - Skanska, Doprastav, Strabag and Inžinierske Stavby - from participating in ongoing procurement tenders over their involvement in forming a cartel when competing for a highway construction order in a public tender over the Mengusovce-Jánovce stretch of the D1 cross-country highway, the Etrend.sk website reported on April 16. 22 Apr 2014
Former ministry employee not linked to emissions case, says special prosecutor NO HIGH-ranking official from the Environment Ministry profited from the 2008 emission quota sale, said special prosecutor Dušan Kováčik. This came in response to an earlier claim by the Fair-Play Alliance (AFP) that referred to documents provided by Swiss authorities who were looking into allegations of money laundering in the emissions case. The AFP considers the response insufficient. 22 Apr 2014
General Staff member suspected of spying for Russia AN OFFICER of the General Staff of Slovakia’s Armed Forces is suspected of engaging in espionage for Russia, private network TV Markíza reported in its main newscast on April 17. 22 Apr 2014
Jobless rate down to 13.28 percent THE NUMBER of registered unemployed in Slovakia stood at 13.28 percent in March, down by 0.21 percentage points compared to the previous month. In annual terms the number of jobless fell by 1.4 percentage points, the Central Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family (ÚPSVaR) informed on April 22. 22 Apr 2014
Economy Ministry: Steel production crucial for Slovak industry THE PRODUCTION of steel has been and will remain one of the main pillars of Slovakia's industrial development, and without industry, an indispensable part of which is steel production, it would be impossible to achieve stability in the country's economy and sustainable employment, the Economy Ministry wrote in a proposal for an Action Plan for a Competitive and Sustainable Steel Industry in Slovakia. 22 Apr 2014
Interior Ministry silent on Ukrainian asylum applicants THE INTERIOR Ministry has not provided any details about the Ukrainians who were reported to have requested asylum in Slovakia but were “talked out of it”, the Sme daily reported on April 18. 22 Apr 2014
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“We discussed it with them, they changed their minds and returned back.” Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák commenting on how Slovakia dealt with the first four Ukrainians who applied for asylum.