Flights will be grounded until at least May 28 (news digest)

The MPs of Smer and far-right ĽSNS created a joint platform in the parliament on May 14.

Many areas in Slovakia are suffering from extremely dry weather.Many areas in Slovakia are suffering from extremely dry weather. (Source: TASR)

This is your overview of news from Slovakia from Thursday, May 14.
For all news about the coronavirus in Slovakia click here.

Coronavirus in Slovakia

- Slovakia has reported eight new people testing positive for the coronavirus, with labs carrying out nearly 4,900 tests on May 13.

- The state may soon start testing the operation of “smart quarantine”, an alternative to the mandatory state quarantine. It will monitor people returning from abroad who need to stay in isolation via a mobile app.

- The ban on civilian flights to and from Slovakia’s airports has been prolonged to May 28.

- The Žilina hospital closed the pandemic pavilion for patients positive with the coronavirus, which was temporarily opened at the department of urology. It disinfected the spaces and returned both bed and outpatient divisions.

- The State Institute for Drug Control (ŠÚKL) has registered the Slovak test for the novel coronavirus. The PCR test was developed by Slovak scientists led by the MultiplexDX company. The author of the key component is scientist and biochemist Pavol Čekan. (TASR)

- The Dopravný Podnik Bratislava public transport operator will strengthen connections in the capital. All trolleybuses will follow the holiday timetable starting from Monday, May 18. The 201 lines will again run between the main railway station and Čiližská.

News from Slovak politics

- MPs failed to acknowledge the report Ombudswoman Mária Patakyová presented to parliament on May 13. Some coalition deputies reproached her for not dealing with some issues enough. President Zuzana Čaputová, who came to the parliament to listen to the report, was critical of the approach of some politicians.

Although not all MPs should agree with her revelations, I consider it a sign of respect to people, who turn to her with their problems, to listen to them and acknowledge them.

President Zuzana Čaputová

- Slovakia struggles with extremely dry weather, with precipitation in the westernmost areas amounting only to one milimetre in April. Meteorologists warn of the consequences if this state continues.

- The representatives of Smer and far-right Kotlebovci – People’s Party Our Slovakia (ĽSNS) created a joint project, called the Platform for a Slovakia of Values. As Ján Podmanický and Marián Kéry of Smer and Tomáš Taraba and Filip Kuffa from ĽSNS said, they were united by the ombudswoman's report, which they criticise for defending the rights of same-sex couples. Podmanický also invited conservative coalition MPs to join. (

- The coalition eliminated Smer MP Ľuboš Blaha from Slovakia’s foreign policy. Smer wanted him to become a member of three permanent parliamentary delegations active at the Council of Europe, NATO and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). He will serve in none of them. (Denník N)

- Slovakia’s Ambassador to Belarus Jozef Migaš has resigned from his post. He was outraged by the questions from the Foreign Affairs Ministry, which asked him about his participation in the VE Day celebrations organised by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. He has not discussed it with the ministry. (Denník N)

- Health Minister Marek Krajčí (OĽaNO) recalled the management of the Louis Pasteur University Hospital in Košice, given the need to make the processes of managing the hospital more efficient.

- Former head of the Agricultural Payments Agency (PPA) Juraj Kožuch and financier Martin Kvietik will definitely be prosecuted while remanded in custody, after the Supreme Court dismissed their complaint against the previous decision of the Specialised Criminal Court. The two have been charged with corruption. (TASR)

- St Michael’s Hospital in Bratislava violated the law when procuring cleaning and hygiene supplies. The Public Procurement Office fined it €2,500. (TASR)

Business and economic news

- Annual inflation slowed down to 2.1 percent in April, falling to its lowest level since the end of 2018.

- Bratislava-based carmaker Volkswagen Slovakia will launch a two-shift operation next week. The company suspended its production on March 17 and partially restored it on April 20. Currently, it is working with one shift.

- Slovakia is to borrow €300 million from the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB). It should finance the state budget expenditures to moderate the negative impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

Culture and events

- The Hviezdoslavovo Námestie square in Bratislava is exhibiting large format documentary pictures. The exhibition called Towns without Us will be on display from May 13 to June 10. The panels with pictures by Karel Cudlín and Peter Korček are placed between the trees opposite the Czech Embassy building.

- The traditional pilgrimage to the Marian Hill in Levoča will not take place this year, as Spiš Bishop Štefan Sečka announced.

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