TODAY IN SLOVAKIA

Danko is no longer a captain. Court did not scrap election result (news digest)

Read your overview of news from Slovakia from April 29, 2020.

PM Igor MatovičPM Igor Matovič (Source: TASR)

This is your overview of news from April 29.
For all news about the coronavirus in Slovakia click here.
Read more about the measures currently in place in Slovakia.

- Friday is Labour Day, a national holiday in Slovakia. While shops will remain closed, petrol stations, shops at airports and stations, and pharmacies may stay open.

Coronavirus in Slovakia

-After almost 5,500 people were tested in Slovakia on Tuesday, seven new COVID-19 cases were confirmed in the country.

Courts and prosecution

- The Kuciak murder trial continued on Wednesday at the Specialised Criminal Court in Pezinok. Defendant Marian Kočner attended in person. The court mainly read forensic reports and Europol statements, including a Europol report compiling various camera recordings from the Veľká Mača municipality, which is how the police identified suspicious vehicles. The process will continue on Thursday.

- The Constitutional Court dismissed the complaint of the Progressive Slovakia/Spolu coalition of parties over the constitutionality and legality of the parliamentary election that took place in Slovakia on February 29. PS/Spolu did not make it into parliament after missing the 7-percent threshold required for a coalition of two parties by 926 votes. The court ruled that the unconstitutionality claims had no support in the presented argumentation and "remained on the level of hypothetical claims". The court also dismissed another complaint filed by the Vlasť party. (TASR)

Government and politics

- The parliament concluded its debate on the Matovič government's programme statement. They are expected to hold the confidence vote on Thursday.

- Defence Minister Jaroslav Naď (OĽaNO) signed an order cancelling the extraordinary rank of captain for former parliament speaker Andrej Danko (SNS) and the colonel rank for former justice minister, Tomáš Borec (Smer nominee). Naď also said he plans to propose a law to scrap the extraordinary ranks for soldiers in the reserves.

- The parliament approved the dismissal of the head of the Personal Data Protection Authority, Soňa Pőtheová. The office, under her watch, demanded that journalists reveal the source of the video that shows Marian Kočner and former general prosecutor Dobroslav Trnka installing a hidden camera in the office of the latter.

- Environment Minister Ján Budaj (OĽaNO) dismissed the head of the State Nature Protection authority, Martin Lakanda. He argued that several disadvantageous contracts have been closed at the authority under Lakanda, and that the ministry is readying the materials for the police in this regard. (Denník N)

- Transport Minister Andrej Doležal dismissed the head of the state-owned postal company Slovenská Pošta, Peter Halexa, who will continue leading the company for another month. Martin Ľupták, who made a name for himself in the logistics business, will take over.

Economy and business

- The impact of the adopted measures to stop the coronavirus pandemic in Slovakia will be devastating for hotels, restaurants, and cafés (horeca). The Association of Hotels and Restaurants of Slovakia (AHRS) expects a more than 50-percent y-o-y drop in sales, which represents some €560 million euros. At the same time, more than 60 percent of jobs are at risk, which means almost 68,000 employed people and thousands more across the supply chain in the production or distribution of food and beverages could lose their jobs. (SITA)

- Slovakia lags behind the OECD average in openness and transparency of public finances. The latest evaluation of the International Budget Partnership organisation looked at the 2019 budgets of 171 countries and ranked Slovakia 33rd, with 60 out of 100 points. The country is 11 points behind the OECD average. (TASR)

- Slovakia's economic performance was on the decline even before the coronavirus outbreak. The Moody's rating agency estimates the impact of the pandemic will lead to an increased deficit of public finances in Slovakia at over 7 percent GDP. Moody's also expects the public debt to increase from last year's 48 percent to 57.2 percent GDP this year. (SITA)

- The Embraco plant in Spišská Nová Ves has halted production for the next five working days.

Culture

- Renowned architect Vladimír Dědeček, author of the 1970s extension of the Slovak National Gallery in Bratislava, passed away at the age of 91.

Also on Spectator.sk today:

Related articleBloomberg: Slovakia has the least per-capita deaths in Europe, showing speed is important Read more  Related articleSwiss trams worth €76,000 will arrive to Čierny Balog Read more  Related articleSlovakia lags behind the most business-attractive countries Read more  Related articleInternational jury has chosen four finalists for the Oskár Čepan award Read more 

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