Airports in Bratislava and Košice dispatched first flights after the coronavirus crisis (news digest)

Slovakia was struck by floods, Slovak soldier dies in the Netherlands. Your overview of news from June 15.

The airport in Bratislava reopened.The airport in Bratislava reopened. (Source: TASR)

This is your overview of news from Monday, June 15.
For a weekly overview with comments, take a look at the latest Last Week in Slovakia published this afternoon.

Airports reopen after three months

The airports in Bratislava and Košice start dispatching the first regular flights after a three-month closure.

In Bratislava, the low-cost Hungarian airlines Wizz Air dispatched the first flight to Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. At the same time, the first passengers from Sofia arrived in Bratislava. It is the first regular destination where planes will fly from Bratislava in June, three times a week. Irish low-cost airlines Ryanair will launch flights from July to Burgas in Bulgaria, Thessaloniki and Corfu in Greece, as well as Paphos in Cyprus. Other charter flights to Zakynthos, Rhodes and Crete will be restored during summer.

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

The Czech Airlines restored regular flights between Prague and Košice on June 15. The plane first carried 31 passengers from the Czech capital to Košice, and 17 passengers to Prague.

Flights to other destinations will depend on opening of borders with other countries.

The airports have to follow strict hygienic measures. Passengers are required to cover their faces with a mask or a scarf (except for children younger than 3 years of age) the whole time at the airport and onboard the plane. They also have to disinfect their hands when entering the building, maintain a 2-metre distance at check-in and the security check. After arrival, their body temperature will be measured. Also, the airport employees need to wear protective equipment.

President Zuzana Čaputová celebrates first year as president

Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová was officially appointed to the post a year ago, on June 15, 2019, after winning the presidential elections on March 30 of that year. She became the first woman to become president, and the youngest president in the country’s history.

It was an exceptional and hard year in terms of the many situations we have faced and tasks that had to be handled.

President Zuzana Čaputová wrote on Facebook on June 14

Slovakia hit by floods

Firefighters have helped in several localities due to bad weather on June 14. The most interventions were reported in the Trnava Region (50), where they had to drain water mostly in Dunajská Streda, Gabčíkovo and Šamorín.

There were 25 interventions in the Nitra Region, 22 in the Bratislava Region (17 were in Jarovce), 15 in the Banská Bystrica Region, and fewer than five in the remaining regions, TASR reported.

Permanent crisis staff on standby

The permanent crisis staff has wrapped up its activity, but remains in standby mode. Scientist Robert Mistrík said that according to the statute adopted by the government, the standby is linked to the national emergency that officially ended on June 13.

“Since the national emergency is ending tomorrow, the permanent crisis staff will go on hibernation regime, as the prime minister said, meaning that if a national emergency occurs again, it may be restored,” Mistrík said, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

Slovak soldier dies in the Netherlands

A Slovak soldier active in NATO structures died in the Netherlands.

Defence Minister Jaroslav Naď and Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces Daniel Zmeko expressed their sympathy towards the grieving family.

“The body of lieutenant colonel M. V., who was sent to the area as an Armed Forces member to serve in NATO structures, was found in the Dutch town of Brunssum on Saturday,” said Martina Kovaľ Kakaščíková, spokesperson of the Defence Ministry, as quoted by TASR. “His family has been informed.”

Until the investigation is over, it is not possible to provide further information, she added.

Jankovská at NAKA, raid in the forestry company

Ex-state secretary of the Justice Ministry, Monika Jankovská, spent four hours at the National Criminal Agency (NAKA) headquarters in Nitra.

The initial information that she wants to testify about her communication with Marian Kočner, found in the Threema app, has not been confirmed.

In other news

  • NAKA continued with the Percenta 2 operation, related to corruption in the state-run Lesy SR forestry company, on June 12. One more person identified as P.M. was charged in the case for accepting a bribe and legalising illegal income from criminal activities. The court took the charged person into custody on June 13.
  • The Czech appellate court lowered the sentence of the first Slovak Islamist Dominik Kobulnický. Instead of 6.5 years he will spend five years in prison. Kobulnický was sentenced for radical expressions and the support of a terrorist group, the ČT 24 news website reported.
  • Replacements in the health-care sector continue. The new head of the state-run health insurer Všeobecná Zdravotná Poisťovňa (VšZP), Richard Strapko, ended collaboration with 30 people, including all regional directors.
  • The Interior Ministry can purchase 550 electronic paralysers with fixtures from the supplier Erik JV in the following four years. The agreement on the order worth €1.587 million including VAT was signed in late May. Part of the purchase is 55 training paralysers, which police officers are expected to train on before using them in field. (TASR)
  • The annual rate of price increase in Slovakia in May 2020 has been the slowest since December 2018. The year-on-year inflation rate amounted to only 2 percent in total, down from April’s 2.1 percent. The slow-down was affected mostly by the lower transport prices, analysts say.
  • Slovakia borrowed nearly €1 billion by selling government bonds for the negative interest with maturity in 2024 and 2027.
  • The interest of people in having their instalments deferred is on the rise. Retail clients have submitted altogether 162,238 applications since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, while 143,957 applications have been submitted since the Lex Korona came into force. This stems from the recent data of the Slovak Banking Association.
  • Three coalition MPs, Ondrej Dostál, Radovan Kazda (both SaS) and Ján Benčík (Za Ľudí), have asked chief hygienist Ján Mikas to cancel the ban on Sunday shopping. They point to the potential unconstitutionality of the measure introduced by the Public Health Authority. (TASR)

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