Monday news digest: Renegade Pellegrini’s party popular, his ex-boss confirms at top Smer post

Read the overview of news from Monday, July 20, 2020.

Robert Fico (centre) and his newly elected deputy chairs.Robert Fico (centre) and his newly elected deputy chairs. (Source: TASR)

This is your overview of news from July 20, 2020. For weekly overview news, see our Last Week in Slovakia overview published earlier today. Also, do not miss 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.

Pellegrini’s party popular despite not being registered

Although it has not been officially registered, the new party of Smer renegade Peter Pellegrini would become the second strongest party in the parliament.

As the recent poll of the AKO agency shows, the Hlas (Voice) party would garner 16.7 percent of the vote, surpassing Smer, which would gain only 10.7 percent.

The election would be won by the Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) with 23.5 percent.

In addition, four more parties would pass the 5-percent threshold and would fill seats in the parliament. The poll carried out between July 7 and 17, 2020 on 1,000 respondents also covers the recent plagiarism scandals.

Related articleEx-PM Pellegrini’s party would be second strongest in the poll Read more 

Fico remains Smer chair, party has some new deputies

The delegates of Smer re-elected Robert Fico as the leading man of the party at the July 18 assembly.

They also elected Juraj Blanár, Ladislav Kamenický, Erik Kaliňák (nephew of ex-interior minister Robert Kaliňák), Ľuboš Blaha and Richard Takáč as deputy chairs. One place remains empty, and the party will fill it only at its traditional congress in early December.

Marián Saloň was named the new general manager.

Related articleNo big changes in Smer. Fico remains at its helm Read more 

Drivers can use some Bratislava ring road stretches

The first 30 kilometres of the long-awaited Bratislava ring road can now be used by drivers.

The Ketelec – Dunajská Lužná – Šamorín – Holice section of the R7 express dual-carriageway and the Ketelec – Rovinka stretch of the D4 bypass were opened on July 19, 2020. This stretch is nearly half of the planned 59-kilometre ring road being built by the D4R7 Construction company within the public-private partnership (PPP) project.

Related articlePart of the Bratislava ring road has opened Read more 

In other news

  • The senate of the Specialised Criminal Court continued with the proceeding in the case of the murders of investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová on July 20. Testifying before the court, Zoltán Andruskó, who has already learned about his sentence in the case, said that he was visited by a man with the surname Kracina a few days before his detention, who in his words represented Nitra-based businessman Norbert Bödör. He allegedly told Andruskó that in connection with the murder, they were searching for a strawman in Hungary. The court also read the evaluation of the behaviour of three defendants in the case, Marian Kočner, Alena Zsuzsová and Tomáš Szabó, in prison, and other evidence in the case. (SME)
  • Slovakia commemorates 140 years since the birth of General Milan Rastislav Štefánik, one of the co-founders of the first Czechoslovak Republic created after the end of WWI. Several commemorative events took place on July 20, including the flight of 13 ultra-light planes above Bratislava and the planting of a special rose called General Štefánik in the Presidential Palace’s garden. The latter event was part of the initiative called 100 Roses for Štefánik. About 75 roses have already been planted.
  • Apostolic Administrator of the Slovak Catholic Eparchy of Košice, Cyril Vasiľ, was infected with the coronavirus during his visit in Munich, Germany, the Slovak Bishops Conference (KBS) informed. He has only mild symptoms and remains in home isolation. (Korzár)
  • Four people, including three children, were lightly injured in a bus accident near Donovaly. At the time, there were 29 people on board, of whom 27 were children. According to the official information, the bus got off the road and turned over. Two dozen firefighters came to help. (TASR)
  • The Austrian authorities will not extradite Viliam Mišenka, detained on July 2 near Vienna based on a European arrest warrant. It has been confirmed that he has Austrian citizenship. Mišenka has been sentenced to 23 years in prison for a deadly explosion in Topoľčany. (TASR)
  • The unemployment rate in Slovakia increased to 7.4 percent in June 2020, for the sixth month in a row. The labour offices reported only a slight increase in the number of vacancies in June, for the first time in the past three months.
  • The largest job portal in Slovakia,, reported the lowest number of job offers in the past six years in the first half of 2020. The website registered only 91,369 job adverts. The drop was reported in all eight regions, although there was a slight annual increase in seven districts. Employers were searching mostly for workers in administration, shop assistants, production operators, sales representatives, warehousemen and cashiers.
  • The Brezno-based Harmanec-Kuvert company will gradually increase the production of paper bags by 75 million annually, and invest a total of some €3 million. It currently employs 170 people and the expansion of the production will give jobs to a further 100 people from the Horehronie region. (SITA)
  • The Transport Ministry has launched a competition to operate trains on the Bratislava-Komárno route, currently operated by Czech private carrier RegioJet. The new operator is expected to launch trains on January 1, 2023. (TASR)

Also on today:

Read alsoDiplomacy is more virtual for the moment, but personal contact is everything Read more 

Read alsoToo early for rose-coloured glasses. Why Slovakia's industry dropped the most in Europe Read more 

Read alsoIn the land of the old Slavs: Marhát Mountain Read more 

Read alsoThe jubilee Rainbow Pride will take place online Read more 

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