More than 23,000 people underwent state quarantine (news digest)

Your overview of news from June 18.

The quarantine centre in Gabčíkovo.The quarantine centre in Gabčíkovo. (Source: TASR)

This is your overview of news from Slovakia from Thursday, June 18, 2020.
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President wants to wait for the results in the NASES case

President Zuzana Čaputová has called for restraint in the case of the alleged wiretapping of the state computer network Govnet. It is a secured network that the state uses to facilitate the electronic communication of state bodies, like ministries, the Office of the President, but also the prosecutors and courts. It also serves the central public administration website where citizens communicate with state authorities,

The president stressed that even if politicians have commented on the case involving the National Agency for Network and Electronic Services (NASES), they have not commented on the merits of the crime.

“I will wait for the results of the investigation as any other conduct would be counterproductive,” Čaputová said, as quoted by SITA.

Deputy PM for Investments and Informatisation, Veronika Remišová (OĽaNO) has defended herself against the claims of her predecessor Richard Raši (Smer) who has accused her of preventing the state from owning Govnet’s security elements.

She has also explained that they have decided to reassess the project as they consider the proposed price exaggerated.

Most people were quarantined in Gabčíkovo

Altogether 23,600 people have spent mandatory quarantine in state facilities.

The majority of people went to the quarantine centre in Gabčíkovo (3,689), the Hotel Dixon in Banská Bystrica (899) and the dormitory on Medická Street in Košice (852), the Interior Ministry informed.

The ministry has also received several motions from people complaining about the transport of people across borders and the conditions in the facilities. The ministry is currently investigating the motions.

The state first offered the possibility of spending quarantine in state facilities on March 13. After the coronavirus measures toughened up on April 6, everybody coming from abroad had to undergo the 14-day quarantine in these facilities. An alternative, the so-called smart or e-quarantine was launched in late May. Mandatory quarantine was cancelled on June 10.

Trial concerning planned murder of ex-TV Markíza’s owner postponed to September

The senate of the Bratislava II District Court has postponed the trial concerning the planned murder of Sylvia Klaus-Volzová, former owner of the private broadcaster TV Markíza, to September 29.

Volzová’s ex-business partner and former director of the private broadcaster Pavol Rusko, boss of the Bratislava-based organised crime group Sýkorovci Róbert Lališ, mafia boss Mikuláš Černák and Černák’s former right-hand man Miloš Kaštan have been accused in the case.

Related articleMafia boss Černák apologised for planning murder of former TV Markíza owner Read more 

The prosecution says that the murder was ordered by Rusko. He had approached Černák who subsequently engaged the Sýkorovci group. While Rusko and Lališ have denied any guilt, Černák and Kaštan have confessed.

The June 18 proceeding involved the hearing of four witnesses, including Rusko’s ex-wife Viera, his former driver and a high-ranked member of Sýkorovci, the TASR newswire reported.

Viera Rusková confirmed in her testimony the version of her ex-husband, while his former bodyguard Branislav Naništa said there have been indications that Rusko might have been threatened.

Róbert Bílý, a former member of the Sýkorovci gang, told the court that they had received the order to kill Volzová, but they had other plans with the businesswoman.

Clash over the zoning of the national park

The recent announcement of Speaker of Parliament Boris Kollár (Sme Rodina) to stop the zoning of the Muránska Planina National Park in central Slovakia has raised some opposition.

Kollár has reiterated the fears of the local municipalities that the increase of the non-interference area from 13 to 50 percent may result in a higher unemployment rate and the outflow of people living in the region.

Environment Minister Ján Budaj (OĽaNO), however, refers to the pledges in the government’s programme statement and invites the affected parties to discussion. Environmental activists have questioned several claims voiced by Kollár.

In other news

  • Fewer than 800 COVID-19 tests were carried out in Slovakia on June 17, of which only one was positive. Meanwhile, another six people have recovered from the disease. See the more detailed statistics here.
  • Altogether 1,251 women have turned to services that help women experiencing violence during the 11 weeks since the coronavirus outbreak. 173 women needed accommodation, 16 women a week on average, according to the weekly surveys carried out by the Coordinating-Methodical Centre (KMC) for gender-based and domestic violence of the Institute for Labour and Family Research (IVPR) between March 30 and June 14, 2020. The number of organisations in the weekly surveys differed from 15 to 22 from across Slovakia. (SITA)
  • The crisis staff held a session in Spišské Podhradie (Prešov Region) on the morning of June 18, to which headteachers of the primary schools and kindergartens were invited. As four new coronavirus-positive cases have recently occurred in the town, the second stage pupils of the primary schools will not return as originally planned.
  • Slovakia’s economy is expected to drop by 9.3 percent quarter-on-quarter in the second quarter of the year due to the coronavirus pandemic. This stems from the forecast of the analysts from the National Bank of Slovakia, the country’s central bank.
  • The European Commission has approved government support for the Hornonitrianske Bane Prievidza mining company worth €9.6 million. The measure is in compliance with the EU rules that enable states to support the closure of non-competitive coal mines. Read more about the planned transformation of the Upper Nitra region here.
  • U.S. Steel plans to invest up to €1.5 billion in its Košice plant in the following 10 years, mostly into the finalisation of products and more ecological production. The plan was introduced to the members of the parliamentary economic committee led by its chair Peter Kremský (OĽaNO) during a visit to the steelmaker. (SITA)
  • The situation of university graduates on the labour market has worsened. Only six employers on average looked at the CV of IT graduates which is the most sought-after specialisation this year, down from seven in 2018. The situation, which was already bad last year, is complicated by the current coronavirus crisis. Also other specialisations have seen a drop in interest from employers. The job portal expects graduates will continue to struggle with entering the labour market in the following years.

More on today:

Read alsoNew Supreme Court head: Before we cleanse the courts, we need to define how Read more 

Read alsoA night in cars or beehives: more than 500 ground squirrels saved after floods Read more 

Read alsoThe COVID-19 miracle: What happened in Slovakia? Read more 

Read alsoTake a look at the view from the first completed residential tower of Zaha Hadid’s project in Bratislava Read more 

Related articleBratislava more resilient to a pandemic than other capitals Read more 

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