Wednesday news digest: Another social package, presidents meet in Pezinok

Read your overview of news from Slovakia on Wednesday, July 15, 2020.

Alexander van der Bellen and Zuzana Čaputová in Pezinok. Alexander van der Bellen and Zuzana Čaputová in Pezinok. (Source: Sme - Jozef Jakubčo)

This is your overview of news from July 15, 2020. Make sure to look at our tips for some good reads on today. If you appreciate our work and want to support good journalism, buy our online subscription. Thank you.

Thirteenth pension stays, free school lunches go

The Matovič government is proposing a package of social measures in a similar fashion to its predecessors, who were led by the now opposition Smer party.

Related articleMatovič government puts forward a package of measures for half a billion Read more 

A thirteenth pension, a contribution for pregnant women, and buses free of charge are on the list of measures, targeting mainly families with young children and people with disabilities.

The coalition also proposes to scrap the fees for some medicaments for children up to six years of age, pensioners, and people with disabilities.

The whole package is estimated to cost half a billion euros.

Slovakia is designing its pandemic plan

Slovakia is preparing for a possible worsening of the situation with the novel coronavirus, or even what some call the second wave of the pandemic.

So much stems from the latest meeting of the Central Crisis Staff on July 14, which also discussed the country's pandemic plan.

It is also questionable whether the popular Christmas markets will be organised in towns and villages this December.

Borders should not be closed for now due mainly to technological reasons.

Presidents talk environment in Pezinok

Austrian President Alexander van der Bellen visited Slovakia on July 15 and met with Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová in her hometown, Pezinok, near Bratislava, in the afternoon. The presidents highlighted climate change and the environment as a topic they want to discuss the most. We are likely to see a vaccine against COVID-19, but we will never live to see the vaccination against climate change, President Van der Bellen said as he arrived at the meeting.

In other news:

  • The government will not purchase the National Football Stadium from its current owner as expected. It has filed a criminal complaint instead.
  • The investigator of the National Criminal Agency (NAKA) has pressed charges against Smer MP Ľuboš Blaha. The charges pertain to the crime of denying and approving of the Holocaust, the crimes of political regimes and crimes against humanity. Smer Chairman Robert Fico believes the charges are political bullying.
  • Women over 80 will make up the majority of the Slovak population in 2070, showed a Eurostat analysis.
  • Slovakia has 19 new coronavirus cases. Four of them work at the Prešov hospital. Health Minister Marek Krajčí said all the positive cases are from the tracking process and are isolated.
  • The constitutional affairs committee of the parliament has debated the proposed changes to the law on prosecutors. MPs agreed to change the way the top special prosecutor is appointed and inserted changes regarding the general prosecutor, including that the candidate cannot have been active in politics for two years before running for the post. (SITA)
  • Education Minister Branislav Grohling, who is facing plagiarism allegations, will attend the session of the coalition Za Ľudí caucus to explain about his thesis. (TASR)

Read more on today:

Slovak economy: What next? Read more  Cheap shopping from China will soon end Read more  Offices no longer need to be boring Read more 

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