TODAY IN SLOVAKIA

Foreigners cannot expect immigration officers to speak English (news digest)

These are the news stories from Slovakia you should know about on Wednesday, Jul 8, 2020.

(Source: Courtesy of Volkswagen Slovakia)

This is your overview of news from Slovakia on Wednesday, Jul 8, 2020. For full access to all our stories and more, buy our online subscription. Thank you for being our readers.

Schools should be able to check old theses thanks to a new law

Education Minister Branislav Gröhling (SaS) has prepared a law that will allow universities to strip their graduates of their degrees.

Related articleAnti-plagiarism law is in the making Read more 

The law should follow the pattern used in the Czech Republic, and the system that will check on the theses currently contains 20 million texts. It is to be extended by another five million texts, the minister told a press conference and posted on his Facebook page.

Justice Minister Mária Kolíková (Za Ľudí), whom PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) assigned together with Grohling to prepare the law as a response to the plagiarism allegations against Parliament's Speaker Boris Kollár (Sme Rodina), confirmed that she is dealing with the legislation and is looking for a method that allows universities to check on older theses and draw consequences.

Immigration office: Report not complex, foreigners cannot expect English

It is in the interest of foreigners coming to Slovakia to speak Slovak and clients also need to be critical and not put their names on unofficial waiting lists. The Foreigners’ Police has many objections against the report recently published by the Office of the Public Defender of Rights.

Related articleForeigners’ Police respond: Report by the ombudswoman not objective Read more 

The Foreigners' Police maintains the report is focused on certain aspects of handling foreigners' administrative work, and as such does not provide a full picture of the demanding activities the Foreigners’ Police has to conduct while providing its services.

The Foreigners' Police wrote the aforementioned in its statement provided to The Slovak Spectator, identical to the letter it sent to the ombudswoman's office earlier this week in response to her report.

“In its content, [the report] does not objectively reflect an overall perspective of the researched area of the Foreigners’ Police service,” the police stated.

VW to invest hundreds of millions in Bratislava

A memo between the government and the Volkswagen carmaker that was not meant to be published shows Slovakia is in the running for an investment of at least €500 million.

The Letter of Intent to Invest was signed by representatives of the Slovak cabinet and the Slovak arm of the German carmaker Volkswagen Slovakia on July 7.

“Somebody was more diligent than appropriate,” said PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) regarding the information the Government's Office first published with photos and a video and then withdrew on July 8, as cited by the SITA newswire.

In the meantime, the Volkswagen Group has confirmed for SITA that the Letter of Intent was signed, refusing to specify any details.

Wooden spoon protest in pictures

The parliament will debate four proposals to change rules for abortions in Slovakia, some of them outright banning abortions in most cases, at its current session. This triggered protests among the public, with wooden spoon marches taking place around Slovakia on Tuesday. This is how it looked in Bratislava.

In other news from Slovakia:

  • 31 people tested positive for the coronavirus on Tuesday. See the full coronavirus statistics in Slovakia here. One of the people who tested positive is a 71-year-old client of a Trenčín social care facility. The facility has been closed and its 130 clients and 70 staff are in quarantine.
  • New coronavirus cases have also been identified in a family in Bratislava, imported from Ukraine. In another case, the infection came from Serbia. In Veľký Krtíš, a miner who works in the Czech mine in Karviná tested positive, the health minister reported.
  • Low-cost carrier Ryanair is renewing its regular flights between Bratislava and Dublin on the evening of Wednesday, July 8. In July, there will be three flights per week, and from August, five per week. More about the restored flights from Bratislava here.
  • The owners of plots may now check everything connected to land in one place, including the recipients of subsidies from EU funds. The new website with agricultural maps now provides data about plot owners, whether the land is requested for agricultural subsidies, and the usual renting of soil in a given location.
  • An armed man was roaming the streets of Old Town in Bratislava, police reported on Facebook. The man has been detained by police, but the way they intervened has been questioned and will be checked by the Police Corps Presidium.
  • Foreign Minister Ivan Korčok exceeded his competencies when he acknowledged Juan Guaidó the acting president of Venezuela, stated the head of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee Juraj Blanár (Smer). (TASR)
  • The government appointed Andrej Juris as the new head of the Regulatory Office for Network Industries, the energy sector regulatory body. He is replacing former prominent Smer politician and minister Jahnátek.
  • The Foreign Affairs Ministry will send its staff to check on the issuance of a visa at the St. Petersburg consulate, but it has not been able to do so yet due to the anti-pandemic measures, Minister Ivan Korčok said. The consulate issued a visa to a man who was later involved in a murder in Berlin. (TASR)

More stories to read on Spectator.sk today:

Chief hygienist: We knew infections would go up, we have no plans to close borders now Read more  COVID-19 temporarily slowed some real estate projects Read more  Part of the castle in Stará Ľubovňa received a new facelift Read more 

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