Foreigners' Police gets feedback from ombudswoman, Kollár stays as speaker (news digest)

Here's your July 7 overview of news from Slovakia.

Speaker of Parliament Boris Kollár (Sme Rodina) faces no-confidence vote in the Slovak parliament July 7, 2020Speaker of Parliament Boris Kollár (Sme Rodina) faces no-confidence vote in the Slovak parliament July 7, 2020 (Source: Sme/Jozef Jakubčo)

This is your overview of news from Tuesday, July 7, 2020. If you like The Slovak Spectator and want to support our work, consider buying our online subscription. Thank you for being our reader.

Ombudswoman's office revealed deficiencies at the Foreigners' Police

The Foreigners' Police, the immigration authority in Slovakia, has put in place many improvements over the past few years, following some harsh criticism of clients and human rights watchdogs.

In 2020, clients can take advantage of their electronic ordering system, which improved the notoriously criticised queues. Nowadays, much like before, the experience of clients often depends on their specific case, the department and the individual police officer they are dealing with.

Among the most outstanding problems there remain a lack of staff capacities, scarce general information in foreign languages, and a lack in the language skills of police officers.

This stems from the 42-page report conducted by the Public Defender of Rights’ office published in early July.

Nice but also aggressive. Immigration experience in Slovakia often depends on the officers handling it Read more 

Kollár continues as speaker of parliament

Chair of the ruling Sme Rodina party, Boris Kollár, who is facing plagiarism allegations, will remain at his speaker of parliament post.

The parliament held the secret no-confidence vote on July 7 afternoon, after Kollár himself submitted a motion.

Only five of 76 MPs who attended the ballot voted for his removal from the post, while 46 were against and 20 abstained from voting. Five ballots were invalid.

The junior coalition parties Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) and Za Ľudí, which were calling on Kollár to step down from the post, did not vote, the Sme daily reported.

Related articleCoalition upholds Kollár, continues as speaker of parliament Read more 

EC: Slovakia's GDP to decline sharply

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Slovakia's GDP may fall by 9 percent in 2020, with domestic and foreign demand for Slovak goods and services harshly suppressed. At the same time, the country's GDP should increase by 7.5 percent in the following year.

Inflation is projected to fall substantially over the forecast horizon, from 2.8 percent in 2019 to 1.9 percent in 2020 and to 0.8 percent in 2021.

This stems from the summer 2020 economic forecast, issued by the European Commission (EC).

Related articleBrussels has high hopes for Slovak economy despite sharp downturn Read more 

In other news

  • Events with more than 1,000 participants with no seating provided can be organised as of July 7, but only after meeting certain rules. Organisers are obliged to ensure that the space is divided into sectors and control the flow of people. At one time, no more than 1,000 people can be in one sector, while organisers have to prove how many people are in the given sectors. Outdoors, there can be one person per 5 square metres, indoors it is one person per 10 square metres. For events with seating provided, organisers need to secure that every second row is empty. No more than 50 percent of capacity should be occupied.
  • Two new coronavirus-positive cases were reported in Slovakia on July 6, with more than 870 tests being carried out. Seven more people have recovered from the disease.
  • First-aid financial assistance for entrepreneurs and the self-employed could be extended until September or until the end of the year. The government will discuss the proposal on July 8. The assistance is currently in place until the end of July.
  • The Arca Group's third firm, Manuvia, has been granted temporary protection from creditors by the Trnava District Court.
  • The InoBat Auto company acquired a building and land in Voderady, near Trnava, for its planned research and development centre and a pilot line for batteries for e-vehicles.
  • The Financial Administration seized a record shipment of 1.5 tonnes of meth from Mexico.
  • Another tourist trail has been temporarily closed in the High Tatra mountains. In the coming months, a green marked trail leading through Javorová Valley to Sedielko Saddle will be inaccessible due to the risk of dry trees falling on the trails. A blue-marked trail runs through Zadné Meďodoly to Kopské Saddle.

More on today:

OĽaNO pre-selected heads of district offices, wants people to report on them now Read more 

Slovaks take less antibiotics than they used to Read more 

Coronavirus in real estate: Investors have opted for a wait-and-see tactic Read more 

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