EU representatives saddened by the Vrútky attack, Matovič visits Budapest (news digest)

Read your overview of news on Friday, June 12.

PM Igor Matovič met with Viktor Orbán in Budapest on June 12. PM Igor Matovič met with Viktor Orbán in Budapest on June 12. (Source: TASR)

This is your overview of news from Slovakia on Friday, June 12, 2020. Scroll down for our tips for weekend reading. If you appreciate our work and want to support good journalism, buy our online subscription. Thank you.

Aftermath of the Vrútky attack

The health condition of the five patients who were hospitalised in the University Hospital in Martin after the knife attack in the nearby town of Vrútky on Thursday has stabilised, the spokesperson of the hospital informed as quoted by the TASR newswire. Four of those hospitalised have undergone surgery.

Related articleOnly one door usually stands between schools and attackers Read more 

The European Commission has also expressed solidarity with Slovakia over the Vrútky attack, the EC spokesperson Eric Mamer said during a briefing on Friday. He conveyed condolences to the relatives and friends of the killed teacher, in the name of the EC President Ursula von der Leyen.

Peter Stano, spokesperson for the High Representative of the European Union Josep Borrell, told TASR that the killed teacher Jaroslav Budz had been his teacher in the past.

"Just like you, we too are shocked over the Vrútky tragedy and we share your sadness and pain," Stano said as quoted by TASR.

Matovič visits Orbán in Budapest

Slovakia sees Hungarians as neighbours and close friends, PM Igor Matovič said during his first official visit to Hungary on Friday, June 12, as reported by the TASR newswire.

Matovič met his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orbán in the Hungarian capital. He pledged that his government will create conditions in Slovakia for Hungarians to be able to use their language without fear.

"It is our aim to protect every citizen regardless of the language they speak," Matovič said as quoted by TASR.

Matovič has also met with representatives of the Slovak minority in Hungary and with the Hungarian Parliament's Speaker László Kövér.

GP proposed his own changes to law on prosecutors

General Prosecutor Jaromír Čižnár has submitted his own draft amendment to the law on prosecution for interdepartmental review on June 12, the SITA newswire reported.

Related articleNon-prosecutors for general prosecutor? New law faces criticism Read more 

His proposal widens the scope of the subjects who can propose candidates for general prosecutor, to include prosecutors, Constitutional Court and Judicial Council heads, the academic community and the ombudsman.

Čižnárs term in office ends in July. The government wants to elect his successor under the new rules. Ruling coalition MPs have already proposed their draft law to this effect, and a debate is expected to take place on June 24. President Zuzana Čaputová has also convened a meeting of experts to discuss the matter.

Čižnár also proposes changes to the disciplinary commissions, which could also include non-prosecutors chosen by the Judicial Council.

Flying to and from Slovakia

The transport Ministry has informed about the measures to be taken at airports. These include the obligation to wear a mask or a scarf at all times when inside the airport.

Hand sanitisers must be provided, and contactless handling of passengers and luggage is to be preferred.

Two-metre distance in queues is required.

All those arriving in the country must have their temperature taken at the airport.

Related articleAirports in Bratislava and Košice to resume regular flights from mid-June Read more 

In other news:

  • Entrepreneurs are still dissatisfied with the state of the business environment in Slovakia. Their negative view did not change in the second half of 2019. According to the Business Alliance of Slovakia (PAS), the Business Environment Index reached 41.56 points in the reported period, 1.13 points less than in the previous half-year. The index started in 2001 at 100 points. "Entrepreneurs identified law enforcement, functioning of the judiciary, efficiency of management of state finances, access to state aid, bureaucracy, and application of the principle of equality before the law as top barriers to business," PAS wrote.
  • None of the eligible entities has submitted to the Judicial Council of the Slovak Republic a proposal for candidate for judge of the Court of Justice of the European Union (EU CJEU) within the set deadline of June 8. The election of a candidate scheduled for June 29 will thus not take place. November 30, 2020 is the new deadline for member states to submit nominations for candidates for judges and advocates-general of the Court of Justice of the EU.
  • Labour Minister Milan Krajniak (Sme Rodina) has changed the organisational structure of the ministry. As of June 15, there will be two separate sections at the ministry: the family policy section and the social policy section. The former department of gender equality and equal opportunities will fall under the family policy section, to be led by former MP Anna Verešová. (Labour Ministry press release)

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