Tuesday news digest: Slovakia's success in Brussels and a diplomatic note sent to the British Embassy

Here's what happened in Slovakia on July 21.

European Union leaders during a round table meeting at an EU summit in Brussels on July 17, 2020.European Union leaders during a round table meeting at an EU summit in Brussels on July 17, 2020. (Source: AP/TASR)

Here is your overview of news from July 21, 2020, as well as some interesting tips for reads that were published on today. If you appreciate our work and want to support good journalism, buy our online subscription. Thank you.

'Brilliant' news from Brussels

After five days of negotiations, the leaders of EU member states made a deal on the Next Generation EU recovery fund in Brussels in the early morning hours on Tuesday. The result is a €1.82 trillion budget and COVID-19 recovery package, which encompasses €390 billion in grants and €360 billion in loans.

Slovakia is expected to receive €7.5 billion from the fund, and a further €18.6 billion from the EU budget for the years 2021-2027. In addition, it can also withdraw €8 billion of what remains unabsorbed from the previous EU budget.

“It is not good news, but brilliant news for Slovakia,” PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) commented after returning from his first in-person EU summit.

Slovakia gained at the summit what it intended, he added.

Several representatives of the country, including President Zuzana Čaputová, have praised the adoption of the deal, although some pointed out that Slovakia will actually receive less than proposed.

Related articleEU deal on recovery fund: Great news for Slovakia, says PM Matovič Read more 

Slovakia sends 'better data' to the UK

Slovakia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry has sent a diplomatic note to the British Embassy, containing the data about the current epidemiological situation in Slovakia regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

By doing so, the country fulfilled last week’s agreement of Slovak Foreign Affairs Minister Ivan Korčok (SaS nominee) and British Minister for European Neighbourhood and the Americas, Wendy Morton.

Slovak diplomacy is trying to make the UK cancel the duty of Slovaks arriving to Britain to self-isolate.

“We have excellent, long-term epidemiological results, which should be reason enough for the UK to reconsider its approach,” Martin Klus, the state secretary of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, posted on Facebook on July 20, adding that he hopes the Brits will soon ‘greenlist’ us.

Related articleDistrust in UK data on COVID-19 in Slovakia. The country sends over its own Read more 

Štefánik's legacy not to be forgotten

Slovakia marked 140 years since diplomat and astronomer Milan Rastislav Štefánik, who co-founded Czechoslovakia after WWI, was born on July 21, 1880 in Košariská (Trenčín Region).

The top three constitutional officials of Slovakia, along with the representatives of Churches, local governments, various associations and organisations, honoured the memory of Štefánik at a ceremony held in his native home, now serving as a museum.

He always did what he considered his moral duty, President Zuzana Čaputová said in her speech at the Košariská ceremony. She added that he acted as a statesman in critical moments, and today's politicians, as well as others, should learn from him.

PM Igor Matovič, Speaker of Parliament Boris Kollár and several ministers praised the achievements and legacy of Štefánik's as well.

Related articleČaputová: Keep Štefánik’s vision of democracy in mind Read more 

In other news

  • General Prosecutor Jaromír Čižnár, whose term in office officially expired on July 17, will step down from his post. He announced his decision to President Zuzana Čaputová already on Monday, July 20. Čižnár is expected to reveal the date of his departure in the coming days. He will be temporarily replaced by First Deputy Prosecutor General Viera Kováčiková, who will stay until the parliament elects a new general prosecutor. The election should take place in autumn. The coalition MPs passed the new rules for electing the general prosecutor only last week. (SME) will take over Čižnár’s duties for the time being. The next PG is hoped to be elected under new rules, which President Zuzana Čaputová has not co-signed yet, in autumn. (TASR)
  • Slovakia recorded 41 new COVID-19 positive cases. The number of total cases has exceeded 2,000, with 455 of the total being active. Read detailed statistics here.
  • Slovakia received 25,000 personal protective medical products, including medical masks, goggles and gloves, from the United States. Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy in Bratislava Natasha Franceschi handed the products over to State Secretary of the Health Ministry Peter Stachura.
  • The Slovak Foreign Affairs Ministry has published travel advice for all countries, also in English.
  • PM Igor Matovič will face a no-confidence vote in the parliament due to his allegedly plagiarised final thesis and his failed promise to serve as PM in an honest way and in the interest of citizens. The proposal was submitted by opposition Smer party and the group around ex-PM Peter Pellegrini. Speaker of Parliament Boris Kollár said he was ready to convene the session already this week. Meanwhile, Matovič wants to hold a press conference on the alleged plagiarism on Wednesday, July 22 morning.
  • Workers in the mechanical engineering industry are ready to go on strike after the Association of the Engineering Industry did not sign a collective agreement of the highest degree. It concerns 35,000 employees in the industry.
  • As many as 5,000 workers of the companies that are members of the Club 500 association, uniting companies with more than 500 employees, may be laid off in autumn. In total, up to 60,000 people could lose their job, Club 500 said.

Also on today:

Related articleBack from a high-risk country? Here’s how to self-isolate Read more 

Related articleTracking down talents vs. filling positions Read more 

Related articleBlog: We should always be on the side of vulnerable people Read more 

Related articleGerman business in Slovakia goes beyond automotive Read more 

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