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Politics & Society

Scandals The year in politics Scandals pertaining to the health care sector did not end with the dubious deal surrounding the dubious purchase of CT device. The Sme daily and Transparency International Slovensko (TIS) reviewed contracts of four large state hospitals in Trenčín, Banská Bystrica, Trnava and Poprad and found that they will pay external caterers nearly €81 million including VAT over the course of 10 years. After Sme ran the story, these overpriced catering contracts signed with mutually intertwined companies saw the heads of the state-owned hospitals forced out, along with the Health Ministry’s service office head Martin Senčák. 22 Dec 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Referendum sparks rights discussions The year in news Discussions about defining a family and LGBTI rights were the predominant human rights issues in 2014. 22 Dec 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Media ownership raises concerns The year in news Big business made some consequential shopping decisions over 2014. Press freedom advocates and political ethics watchdogs expressed serious concern over the growing trend of large domestic media ownership. 22 Dec 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Centre-right continues crumbling The year in politics The year began with the need for the centre-right to consolidate itself, but 2014 saw a continuation of the fragmenting trend instead. 22 Dec 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Judiciary gets new head The year in politics The single most significant change within the country’s judiciary over the past year is the failure of Štefan Harabin to get re-elected as the Supreme Court’s top chair. Supreme Court Judge Daniela Švecová replaced Harabin at the Supreme Court while another Supreme Court Judge Jana Bajánková, who failed in the first-round bid for Supreme Court head, now leads the Judicial Council. 22 Dec 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Kiska’s election changes landscape The year in politics IVAN Gašparovič, the one-time right-hand man of controversial three-time prime minister Vladimír Mečiar, ended his decade-long tenure and was replaced by Andrej Kiska, the first-ever independent candidate with no previous political background – not to mention the first president who was not once a member of the Communist Party. 22 Dec 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Kiska returned anti-shell law News in short Locked PRESIDENT Andrej Kiska refused to sign the revision to the public procurement law, which is meant to ban shell companies from the public procurement process on December 18. He returned it to the parliament for another discussion. 22 Dec 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Police charge bribed doctor News in short Locked THE POLICE charged Vladimír P., the head doctor of one of the departments at the Children’s Faculty Hospital and Policlinic (DFNsP) in the Bratislava borough of Kramáre for taking a bribe. He was arrested by the National Criminal Agency (NAKA) on December 15, the TASR newswire reported. 22 Dec 2014 The Slovak Spectator
SDKÚ continues rapid decline MEMBER after member continue to leave the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) party which now has just 2.1 percent public support in the latest poll, the same result as Communist Party of Slovakia reached. 22 Dec 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Slovaks will get food aid The ministry promises to avoid previous scandal Locked SLOVAKIA will join the European Union programme designed to distribute free food to the neediest people for the second time in its history. Though there are some negative feelings concerning the programme, which previously ended up in scandal after thousands of people did not receive the aid they were entitled to, the Labour Ministry now claims it has taken steps to prevent the problems. 22 Dec 2014 The Slovak Spectator
V4 leaders visit Ukraine Locked AMID rapid developments in Ukraine and Russia, Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák led a delegation of Visegrad Four leaders to Kiev, pledging to help Slovakia’s eastern neighbour with reforms in various strategic sectors and continued cooperation in 2015. 22 Dec 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Competition rare in hospital tenders MOST contracts in Slovak hospitals involve just a single bidder causing taxpayers to pay the added costs, according to a study by Transparency International Slovensko (TIS) and INEKO economic think-tank. 22 Dec 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Overpriced contracts infect health care Locked FOUR state-owned hospitals involved in the scandal tied to overpriced meals will have to pay two private companies for food deliveries and catering – even if they never make it to patients. Health Ministry officials say they are looking into the possibility of cancelling the contracts. 22 Dec 2014 The Slovak Spectator
CC approves vaccination News in short THE CONSTITUTIONAL Court decided that laws concerning the mandatory vaccination of children do not contradict the Constitution and parents can be fined for avoiding them, the TASR newswire wrote on December 10. 15 Dec 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Police fine Gašparovič’s ex-advisor News in short POLICE have issued a fine to the former head of the Presidential Office’s public relations section, Dárius Rusnák, a former ice hockey player, claiming he defamed two women for speaking Hungarian. He will be forced to pay €100. 15 Dec 2014 The Slovak Spectator
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Quote of the Week
“Even those who proposed it admitted that the law will be ineffective.” President Andrej Kiska explains why he refused to sign the anti-shell law.