This is your overview of news from Slovakia from Wednesday, June 10, 2020. If you appreciate what we are doing and would like to support our work, consider buying our subscription. Your support helps us continue bringing you Slovak news you can trust.
Coronavirus in Slovakia
- Slovakia has reported two new coronavirus cases based on Tuesday's testing. No patients are currently hospitalised with the novel coronavirus. See more detailed coronavirus stats from Slovakia here.
- The national state of emergency, declared in mid-March by the previous government of Peter Pellegrini (Smer), will officially end on June 13, the Igor Matovič cabinet decided on Wednesday. The ban on peaceful gatherings expired on June 10.
Checks on Polish border and buses to Prague
- The latest governmental decree that prolongs the restoration of border controls states that border checks will continue on the border with Poland. They no longer apply to Czechia, Hungary and Austria. Inhabitants of Slovakia travelling to Poland can cross the road border crossings Trstená - Chyžné, Vyšný Komárnik - Barwinek, and the railway crossing Skalité - Zwardoň.
- Private bus carrier Flixbus will restore its lines between Czechia and Slovakia as of next week. Starting Monday, June 15, daily lines between Prague and Košice will start running, and as of Thursday, June 15, the Plzeň-Košice and Prague-Bratislava lines will also be added.
NASES raid ends in arrests
- The National Criminal Agency (NAKA) raided the premises of the state-run National Agency for Network and Electronic Services (NASES) on June 9. They detained four people. The police allegedly suspect that the state computer network GOVNET was wiretapped.
- SIS director Vladimír Pčolinský says it may be a serious problem or no problem at all. Former and current government officials are waiting for investigation results.
Tough day for Smer: Fico at NAKA and Pellegrini leaves
- Deputy parliament's speaker, former prime minister and currently the most popular politician of the opposition Smer party, Peter Pellegrini, announced he is leaving the party.
The Smer brand, however successful, has started to lose its gloss.„
- Smer leader Robert Fico testified at the National Criminal Agency (NAKA) on Wednesday morning in the cases of former general prosecutor Dobroslav Trnka. He declined to comment for the media as he was leaving the police, and he pushed away a Sme journalist who attempted to ask him questions.
Bad news from central bank and Brussels
Slovak economy contracted by 5.2 percent in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the previous quarter, according to the Eurostat estimate, marking one of the deepest drops within the EU.
At the same time, the National Bank of Slovakia downgraded its spring forecast, predicting that the Slovak economy will contract by 10.3 percent over 2020, especially due to the decline in foreign demand and the suspension of a major part of the domestic economy.
In other news
- Marian Kočner has to stay behind bars after the Supreme Court rejected his complaint in the promissory notes case and request to be released.
- Corruption is unacceptable for 69 percent of Europeans, but in Slovakia, only 48 percent of citizens see it as problematic, shows a recent special Eurobarometer survey about corruption. While 52 percent of those polled in Slovakia believe the corruption rate has increased in the last three years in their country, as many as 18 percent said they personally knew someone who had received a bribe. (Eurobarometer)
- Three Slovak universities placed among the thousand best universities in the world: The Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice ranked the highest among them (700th), and Comenius University and the Slovak University of Technology, both in Bratislava, ranked among the thousand. (top universities)
Business and economy
- The Košice-based U.S.Steel plant wrapped up the last year deep in red numbers. Their revenues dropped from €2.8 billion to €2.1 billion year-on-year, and they generated a loss of €63 million.
- The government approved investment aid of €1.5 million in the form of income tax relief for the SWEP Slovakia company based in the eastern-Slovak industrial park in Kechnec. The company plans to enhance its plant producing heat exchangers and employ 40 more people by 2024.
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10. Jun 2020 at 22:28 | Compiled by Spectator staff