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Government approves purchase of two Italian planes THE SLOVAK military will purchase two Italian tactical transport aircraft C-27J Spartan for, the government decided at its October 22 session. This move completes the almost six-year procurement process that began in 2008 in the wake of the crash of military aircraft An-24 close to Hungarian village Hejce in which 42 Slovaks died. 23 Oct 2014
Hackers targeted GLOBSEC conference Locked ABOUT six months after the international GLOBSEC security conference took place in Bratislava it was revealed that it became a target of hackers. They used the emails that seemed to be sent by the organisers. With opening the attachment, the recipients let the hackers enter their computers, the Sme daily reported in its October 23 issue. 23 Oct 2014
Government okays free trains for children, students and pensioners CHILDREN, students aged up to 26, pensioners and seniors 62 or older are able to travel free of charge on selected trains as of November 17, the government decided at its October 22 session. The measure is part of a package of 15 measures aimed at improving the financial, economic and social situation of people in Slovakia that was drawn up by the Robert Fico cabinet, the TASR newswire reported. 23 Oct 2014
The EP approves Juncker’s commission THE EUROPEAN Parliament approved the new composition of the European Commission that will be led by former Luxembourgian prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker. It will officially start its term November 1. Slovakia is represented by Maroš Šefčovič who will oversee the energy union. 23 Oct 2014
Five parties would make it to the parliament IF THE parliamentary elections were held in first half of October, five political parties altogether would win the seats in the parliament. Of the current parties that hold the mandates, the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) and Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) would not receive enough votes to pass a 5-percent threshold, the poll carried out by Focus polling agency between October 7 and 14 on 1,031 respondents showed. 22 Oct 2014
Judicial clerks will return to courts THE FUNCTION of judicial clerks and candidates for vacancies of prosecutors, abolished by the previous government in 2011, will return to Slovak courts and prosecutor’s offices. The selection procedures of new judges will, however, remain open also for other juridical professions. This stems from the amendments pertaining to the judiciary passed by the parliament at its October 21 session. 22 Oct 2014
Bratislava lost in dispute over PKO BRATISLAVA has once again lost in a proceeding over the demolition of its PKO cultural venue. The Bratislava Regional Court ruled that the contract signed with Henbury Development, the owner of lands under PKO, is valid. 22 Oct 2014
Ground Pepper checked out the preparedness to cooperate with NATO armies ATTACKING one of the NATO members and its defence in cooperation with other NATO troops is part of the Ground Pepper training which takes place in Lešť military area situated in the Banská Bystrica Region. 22 Oct 2014
Slovak non-profit ETP gets award for Roma project Slovak non-profit organisation ETP Slovensko – Centrum pre udržateľný rozvoj (i.e. Centre for Sustainable Development) received the gold Civil Society Prize awarded in mid October by the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels for the project Budujeme nádej / Building Hope implemented in the Košice region. Part of the prize is also a financial reward of €15,000. 22 Oct 2014
Fico will not have to explain Žilina debt deal Prime Minister Robert Fico will not have to speak to the Parliamentary Committee on Conflict of Interest the debt relief for the city of Žilina approved by the cabinet earlier this month. 22 Oct 2014
Academy of Sciences to receive additional €8 million for projects A sum of €8 million transferred by the government last week to the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport’s research and development budget chapter will be allocated to the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAV), according to the agreement reached between SAV officials and Education Minister Peter Pellegrini at the SAV gremium talks October 21. Pellegrini promised SAV chair Jaromír Pastorek to allocate resources equalling €8 million to academic research via the science grant agency VEGA. 22 Oct 2014
National debt below 55 percent of GDP in 2013 Slovakia’s public finance deficit reached 2.63 percent of GDP last year, according to the latest figures drawn up by the Slovak Statistics Office (ŠÚ) and the European Union’s Eurostat stats office using new ESA2010 accounting methodology. The country’s debt in 2013 was measured at 54.6 percent, a little below the threshold of 55 percent that is stipulated in the debt-brake law. It was originally foreseen that the cap would be broken, obliging the government to cut spending and refrain from using its reserves, with certain restrictions imposed on the following year’s budget. The debt in 2014 isn’t set to exceed the cap either, as it is envisaged to reach 54.94 percent of GDP this year. The deficit should be 2.93 percent of GDP this year, the TASR newswire wrote on October 21. Slovakia draws up a report on its deficit and debt twice a year and submits it to Eurostat. 22 Oct 2014
MPs pass ban on water exports THE PARLIAMENT passed the constitutional ban on exporting water at its October 21 session. The change was supported by 102 MPs together, the TASR newswire reported. 21 Oct 2014
Corpses of two climbers transported to Slovakia CORPSES of mountain climbers Jan Matlák and Vlado Švancár, who died in Nepal last week, were transported to Slovakia. They were carried via a commercial flight to Vienna’s Schwechat airport on October 20, and then moved to Slovakia, Peter Susko, head of Slovakia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry press department, told the TASR newswire. 21 Oct 2014
Šefčovič underwent his second “grilling” REGARDING ITS international relations, the European Union should have more assertive diplomatic policy in the energy sector, said Slovak EC Maroš Šefčovič after his second hearing in front of the MEPs in Strasbourg on October 20. 21 Oct 2014
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Quote of the Week
“The minimum wage is a holy thing for us.” PM Robert Fico defends the increase in minimum wage from €352 to €380 per month.