TODAY IN SLOVAKIA

Central crisis staff has not decided on ending the state of emergency yet (news digest)

Trnava-based carmaker will be the first auto producer to return to its pre-crisis operation.

PM Igor MatovičPM Igor Matovič (Source: Government's Office via SITA)

This is your overview of news from Thursday, May 28.

Coronavirus in Slovakia

  • Five new coronavirus-positive cases were identified in Slovakia on May 27, increasing the total number to 1,520. There were no new deaths, and five more patients have recovered. See more detailed statistics here.
  • The Public Health Authority has issued several updates to wearing masks. The exceptions were given to brides and grooms during their wedding, and students undergoing various types of exams. It is still recommended that masks should be worn at work, particularly in shared spaces and when in contact with colleagues.
  • The central crisis staff has not decided yet on when the state of emergency may end. They ordered a deep analysis, said PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO). It is not clear either, if and how Slovakia will join the initiative of several countries that plan to open their borders in mid-June.

The whole of Europe and the world are afraid of the second wave and need to have all mechanisms ready. This is why we need the state of emergency.

PM Igor Matovič on the potential end of the state of emergency

  • The central crisis staff partially lifted rules for irregular, private business flights. People with permanent or temporary residence in Slovakia can use private air carriers with a capacity of 20 passengers from Bratislava airport to eight countries (the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Germany, Poland, Austria, Slovenia and Switzerland) from May 28 evening. If returning within 48 hours, they are not required to undergo mandatory quarantine. Before landing in Slovakia, passengers will be asked to fill in forms with personal data.
  • Croatia will fully open its borders for the citizens of 10 countries including Slovakia, but failed to specify the date. To speed up the processes, the local government recommends visitors fill in an e-registration.
  • The Interior Ministry has asked Slovaks returning to Slovakia from abroad who would like to transfer to home quarantine to be prepared before they travel to the borders. It asks them not only to download the app, but to also complete the registration and activation. They also need two documents: a statutory declaration and an agreement to spend mandatory quarantine at home while using the mobile app. Both can be found at Korona.gov.sk/ekarantena. Homecomers should print and sign both documents.
  • Several regional offices of the Public Health Authority have changed the operating hours of call centres established to help people answer COVID-19 related questions. They will now be functional during weekdays, between 8:00 and 15:00. The national helpline of the National Health Information Centre will still operate 24/7.

President will address parliament

  • President Zuzana Čaputová will present her very first state of the republic address in parliament on June 5, at 9:00.

Updates from the judiciary and courts

  • Chair of the Specialised Criminal Court senate Ružena Sabová suspended the proceeding against Marian Kotleba, chair of the far-right Kotlebovci – People’s Party Our Slovakia (ĽSNS), concerning the controversial cheques worth €1,488. It will continue on Friday, May 29 morning.
  • Slovakia lost the dispute at the European Court of Human Rights involving the Beneš Decrees, with the court ruling that the proceedings were unfair. It involves a forest next to the town of Bardejov (Prešov Region) which they forgot to take from a Hungarian family after the war. The court criticised, among other things, the way the General Prosecutor’s Office interfered in the case. (Denník N)
  • The Public Procurement Office has uncovered law violations when reconstructing the Supreme Court. It originally fined the court’s office €15,000, but after it agreed with the revelations, it decreased the sanction to €7,000.
  • The courts will return to the pre-coronavirus working regime, the Justice Ministry informed. This means that the filing offices and information centres will open, and the public will be allowed to attend court proceedings from June 1. The epidemiological measures remain in place.

Economy and business news

  • The seasonally adjusted three-months moving average of the economic sentiment indicator decreased by 11.6 points to 72.2 which represents the lowest recorded value of the indicator except for May 2009. Confidence increased mainly in industry and a little less among consumers and in trade. Conversely, it decreased in services and in construction. The indicator is currently lagging behind the long-term average by 31.1 points and behind the value of the corresponding period last year by 23 points. (Statistics Office)
  • President Zuzana Čaputová signed a law that will deal with trips cancelled due to the coronavirus. Travel agencies will have more than a year to solve the issue. They can offer customers either a change to the agreement or send them information about an alternative trip if they refuse.
  • Slovakia should receive about €8 billion from the grants offered within the EU Recovery package worth €750 billion in total. Several Slovak representatives at the EU said that the country should use them very carefully and aid the recovery of the economy.
  • The state will restore free trains for students from Monday, June 1.
  • The National Agency for Network and Electronic Services (NASES) will activate e-letterboxes to the statutory representatives of the organisations active in the third sector, political parties, religious organisations, interest groups, embassies and other subjects so that they can receive documents from respective authorities. As a result, these people will need eID with an active chip and their own security personal code. It is the final phase of the electronisation and applies to legal entities not registered in the business register. (Denník N)

Corporate news

  • Trnava-based carmaker Groupe PSA Slovakia will be the first carmaker in Slovakia to return to its pre-crisis operation. After adding a third shift this week, it will restore weekend shift from Saturday, June 6.
  • The Slovenské Energetické Strojárne (SES) Tlmače company reported planned mass layoffs to the labour office. These are related to the end of its own production activities, one of the alternatives the company is currently discussing to deal with the current situation on the market. The final decision will be made by the end of June.

Also on Spectator.sk today:

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