Slovakia opens to non-EU countries, but is also reproached by the EU (news digest)

Read the overview of news from July 2, 2020.

PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) criticised the football match in Dunajská Streda.PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) criticised the football match in Dunajská Streda. (Source: SITA)

This is an overview of the notable events that happened in Slovakia on July 2, 2020. Do not miss other stories published on today.
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The list of less risky countries extended

From now on, Slovakia will be opening up to less risky countries not just those deemed safe. The list will be extended by 10, probably on July 6, namely Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, as well as Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.

On the other hand, Bulgaria and Montenegro will be removed from the list.

PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) and the group of experts also issued new measures for sports events, following the incident during a football match in Dunajská Streda (Trnava Region) where the organisers failed to observe the hygiene instructions.

The requirement for checker-board seating will be replaced by every second row being left empty. For events with more than 1,000 visitors without seating, the number of visitors will be limited to one person per 10 square metres.

The rules for wearing masks and face coverings will not change for now.

Related articleLess risky countries added to open list, some conditions for mass events change Read more 

People will call on Kollár to step down

A group of non-governmental organisations has invited people on the street to show their disagreement with the practice of plagiarism in politics.

Called “Plagiarists March Off Politics”, the gathering will take place in SNP Square in Bratislava on July 3, starting at 18:00. The organisers are the Let’s Stop Corruption Community, Our Slovakia, Other Politics and Radical Philosophy.

There are three main demands:

  • to force Boris Kollár to resign from the post of Speaker of Parliament;
  • to make the anti-plagiarism system in universities more effective;
  • to remove the academic degrees of politicians whose graduate theses have been plagiarised.
Related articlePeople will protest against plagiarism in politics Read more 

Leaflets promoting food need to change

The European Commission sent a letter of formal notice to Slovakia, requesting it to remove restrictions in the food retail sector. Under the current legislation, drafted by the Slovak National Party (SNS) and adopted by the previous government, at least one half of products promoted in store leaflets have to be of Slovak origin.

“The Commission considers that the Slovak measures create more advantageous marketing conditions for domestic products and restrict retailers’ freedom to decide on their assortment and the layout of their sales surfaces,” the EC wrote in a press release. These measures are against the EU rules on the free movement of goods and the freedom of establishment.

Slovakia now has three months to respond.

Related articleSlovakia needs to remove restrictions in the food retail sector Read more 

In other news

  • The European Commission has decided to refer Slovakia to the Court of Justice of the EU over the failure to assess the impact of sanitary logging on Natura 2000 sites and failure to take measures for the protection of a bird species. It concerns the wood grouse, or Capercaillie, a large forest bird, whose population has decreased by half since Slovakia joined the EU in 2004, and its habitat.
  • The European Commission also decided to refer Slovakia to the Court of Justice of the EU for its failure to map noise and draw up noise action plans. Slovakia has failed to draw up action plans for 445 major road segments (out of 622) and for all 16 major railway segments.
  • The cycling Bridge of Freedom in Devínska Nová Ves has been closed, as its stability needs to be checked after a truck tried to cross it. It was stopped by the barriers on the Slovak side and had to back up.
  • Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó has thanked Slovakia on Twitter for recognising him as interim president of the country.
  • It will be possible for entrepreneurs from all over Slovakia to submit applications for subsidies to cover their rent payments​​​​​​, regardless of the region they come from, as of Friday, July 3.
  • Two coronavirus hot spots have been identified in the Prievidza district (Trenčín Region). One outbreak was caused by a miner who works in Karviná in the Czech Republic. The other concerns a Macedonian family living in Slovakia. Meanwhile, the number of coronavirus cases in Slovakia increased to 1,700.
  • The National Security Authority (NBÚ) has established a centre for hybrid threats and disinformation. It will collaborate with the National Cyber Security Centre SK-CERT.
  • The June 2020 temperatures in most territories of Slovakia were above average, while some reported more precipitation than usual. On the other hand, it was the fifth poorest year for sunlight in the past 60 years.

Also on today:

Related articleHow to handle coronavirus problems while in Croatia Read more 

Related articleSituation after the coronavirus crisis: help companies and the self-employed Read more 

Related articleSlovakia has one of the richest collections of gothic art in Europe Read more 

Related articleSlovakia's 'rare' fascist monuments escape wave of statue removals Read more 

Related articleForeigners can have their say in the future look of Bratislava's iconic old bathhouse Read more 

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