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Poll: Nearly half of people happy with outcome of presidential elections Forty-seven percent of people voiced their satisfaction with the results of the presidential election, from which Andrej Kiska emerged victorious, TASR learnt from a survey carried out by the Public Affairs Institute (IVO) and Focus agency that was published on April 16. The survey, which showed that 33 percent of 1,052 respondents were unhappy with the outcome of the elections, was conducted in the first week of April. One-fifth of those asked were unable to say whether they were content with the outcome or not. The second round of the elections was held on March 29. The voter turnout was 50.5 percent in the run-off vote, up from 43.4 percent in the first round. The poll, called “Presidential Election through the Eyes of Public” also showed that the lower-than-average turnout was seen among first-time voters and youth (up to 24 years of age), people with basic education and students. Fifty-six percent of those who went to the polls only in the second round voted for Kiska, with 39 percent of this group casting their vote for Prime Minister Robert Fico. According to the results of the poll, Fico was supported in the first round particularly by voters of his Smer party (76 percent) while Kiska was backed by voters of other parties and voters with no particular party affiliation (44 percent in total). The latter was pretty much the case with voter support for fellow non-partisan candidates Radoslav Procházka and Milan Kňažko. In the run-off vote, Kiska received the most votes from undecided voters, voters of other than Smer party and non-voters. Meanwhile, Fico garnered by far the widest backing from Smer voters. 17 Apr 2014
ÚDZS: Doctor in medivac helicopter case made right decision The Health Care Supervisory Authority (ÚDZS) on April 16 released the results of investigation into a tragic road accident near Skalica last year that occurred while medivac helicopter service was unavailable due to what the opposition described as a botched Health Ministry tender. 17 Apr 2014
Police catch Slovaks who forged Czech crowns and Swiss francs Two Slovaks who have released almost 1,600 fake Czech banknotes and dozens of fake Swiss banknotes in retail chains in the Czech Republic and Switzerland, respectively, since 2011, have been detained by the Slovak police, which worked in co-operation with the Czech and Swiss authorities, Banská Bystrica regional police director Marian Slobodník said at a press conference on April 16. One of the counterfeiters, identified only as Martin S. (born 1981), was arrested at the main railway station in Zvolen on April 10. He was carrying 30 fake banknotes in the nominal value of 100 Swiss francs each. The Slovak police, in co-operation with their Czech colleagues, also found out that Martin S. had an accomplice, a certain Štefan B. (born 1979). They both were residents of the village of Zubrohlava in the Žilina region. In Štefan's house, police found a printing machine and dozens of fake banknotes. Both men have been taken into custody. They may spend up to 10 years in jail each if convicted. 17 Apr 2014
Harabin has a rival in run for Supreme Court head The incumbent head of the Supreme Court (and the Judicial Council), Štefan Harabin, will have a rival as he runs for re-election. 17 Apr 2014
Judicial reform/marriage amendment stuck in parliament THE RULING Smer party and the opposition Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), which have teamed up for a joint constitutional amendment which would introduce several major changes to the justice system and simultaneously define marriage as a bond between a man and a woman, have slowed in their efforts to pass their draft. 16 Apr 2014
Moratorium on land sales to foreigners expires on April 30 FOREIGN nationals should be able to buy land in Slovakia as of the end of April, 2014. Some MPs oppose this arrangement, however. 16 Apr 2014
Quality of democracy worsened at start of 2014 THE QUALITY of democracy in Slovakia has deteriorated, according to the results of the IVO Barometer that evaluates the quality of democracy in several areas. 16 Apr 2014
Slovakia drops in Doing Business ranking SLOVAKIA has slipped in the Doing Business 2014 ranking compiled by the World Bank. 16 Apr 2014
Supreme Court proposes Harabin for its president Slovak Supreme Court proposed the incumbent president Štefan Harabin to be re-elected for one more term on April 15, the TASR newswire wrote. 16 Apr 2014
World War II bombshell found at Bratislava airport During excavations and construction works at the unpaved parts of theM.R. Štefánik Airport in Bratislava, a World War II bombshell was found April 14. 16 Apr 2014
Memorandum on reverse gas supply to Ukraine unsigned, negotiations continue The prepared memorandum of cooperation regarding reverse supply of natural gas from Slovakia to Ukraine was not signed on April 15, with the Ukrainian side calling Slovak offer unacceptable. 16 Apr 2014
Malatinský recommends investment aid for six companies Investment aid totalling €20.1 million in the form of tax breaks and subsidies for the acquisition of assets should go to six companies, according to a proposal on the provision of investment aid from the Economy Ministry that will be discussed at cabinet session. The companies that have applied for the investment aid include a company called Schindler from Dunajská Streda which is one of the world leaders in production of escalators and lifts and is based in Switzerland, rolling bearings manufacturing companies INA from Kysucké Nové Mesto and Schaeffler Slovakia from Žilina, supplier of medical single-use devices Unomedical from Michalovce, compressor producer Embraco Slovakia from Spišská Nová Ves and shoemaker FLAMEshoes from Bardejov. “The submitted investment projects should create a total of 226 new jobs in eastern Slovakia, 165 in central and the rest in western Slovakia,” Malatinský told the TASR newwire adding that the overall number of new jobs stands at 657. The ministry estimates that these six investments could generate revenues for state budget of more than €120 million. The largest share of all the investments that applied for investment aid are related to expanding existing plants, increasing production, or to substantial modernisation of technological equipment and increasing competitiveness of companies in Slovakia. 16 Apr 2014
Harabin to reportedly run for re-election SUPREME Court President Štefan Harabin will allegedly run for another term in his post, the Sme daily reported in its April 15 issue. The daily refers to an announcement it received in which Harabin gives his written consent to his candidacy for re-election to the post. The election will take place on May 19. 15 Apr 2014
Former ŠtB agents back Babiš in court TWO WITNESSES in the court proceeding related to allegations that Czech Finance Minister Andrej Babiš once served as an agent for the communist-era secret police (ŠtB) have not confirmed that Babiš knew about the cooperation. The Nation’s Memory Institute (ÚPN), which is being sued by Babiš, who claims he was wrongly registered as an agent, has not commented on the testimonies, saying that the proceeding is still underway, the Sme daily reported in its April 15 issue. 15 Apr 2014
Yegorov succeeds at Constitutional Court THE CONSTITUTIONAL Court has issued a second ruling confirming that the personal rights of Volodymyr Yegorov, charged with several murders, were violated during the proceedings held in Slovak courts. The court, however, has not granted him financial compensation, the TASR newswire reported on April 15. 15 Apr 2014
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Quote of the Week
“Some [people] already call me Mr President, which always subconsciously startles me [and I look to check] whether someone is standing behind me.” President-elect Andrej Kiska commenting on how he feels in his new role in the days following his election win.