This is your overview of news from Slovakia on Friday, July 31, 2020. Take a look at our weekend reading tips.
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General Prosecutor election law goes back to parliament
President Zuzana Čaputová has vetoed three bills, she announced during a press briefing on Friday. It is the first time she has returned laws to the new parliament.
One of the bills is the much-anticipated amendment to the law on prosecution, which also changes rules for the election of the general prosecutor.
The president believes that the ability to dismiss the general prosecutor if he or she does not carry out their function properly and honestly is unconstitutional. If the parliament breaks her veto, Čaputová will file a motion against the law with the Constitutional Court, she announced.
Kočner insists he had no motivation to have Kuciak murdered
The Specialised Criminal Court senate dealing with the Kuciak murder case has convened for its penultimate session on Friday, July 31, to hear the closing speeches from the defence. The court is expected to deliver its verdict on Wednesday, August 5.
After the prosecutor and the lawyers of the bereaved families delivered their closing speeches on July 23, the defence lawyers and the defendants had their chance to make their final statements to the court.
"Ján Kuciak was only one of many journalists who wrote about me," Kočner said early on in his speech, in which he compared himself to Milada Horáková, a victim of the Communist-era fabricated process.
Brits in Slovakia need to take action
The UK government has launched an information campaign and a £3 million support fund to assist those British nationals who might struggle to complete their residency or registration forms by the time the transition period ends on December 31, 2020.
"The residency status of Brits in Slovakia is protected automatically but the Foreigners’ Police need UK nationals to get a new document that will enable them to show they are protected by the Withdrawal Agreement," the outgoing British Ambassador to Slovakia Andy Garth said in an earlier interview with The Slovak Spectator.
- Slovakia has another coronavirus victim. A 67-year-old man who died in the Dunajská Streda hospital last Sunday was officially found to have died from COVID-19. Slovakia thus has officially 29 victims of the disease as of July 31.
- Public health authorities are discouraging people from travelling to some regions of Spain (Catalonia, Aragon, Navarra) and Croatia (Zagreb, Vukovar-Syrmia), where the epidemiological situation has worsened recently. Both Spain and Croatia remain on the list of less risky countries.
In other news:
- The 56th edition of the Studia Academica Slovaca (SAS) summer school of Slovak language and culture will take place online for the first time, due to the COVID-19 situation in the world. The online courses start on Monday, August 3 and will run through August 14. The Comenius University reports that 80 participants from 22 countries have applied so far.
- The Daffodil Day traditional fundraising campaign to help cancer patients has been taking place for 23 years, but its 2020 edition is the first one that is not taking place in the spring or through a network of volunteers in the streets of Slovak towns and cities. Due to COVID-19 it will take place on July 31 in selected retail stores around the country, and continues online until August 14. People can download a virtual daffodil and contribute via a text message to the number 848 worth €3, or by direct bank transfer.
- Former deputy interior minister Lukáš Kyselica, who recently stepped down over revelations that he had worked for the Military Intelligence Service during the election campaign, will serve as an MP. The parliamentary defence and security committee heard Kyselica on Friday, but the meeting only lasted 10 minutes and he declined to give any information about his work for the secret service. (Sme)
- A pedestrian and cycling bridge collapsed near the centre of the northern-Slovak city of Spišská Nová Ves around 4:30 in the morning. One person was reportedly on the bridge when it happened. (Korzár)
- The regional health authority is calling on people not to use water from private wells near the chemical factory Istrochem and to only use safe water from the public water mains instead, in advice issued by the regional office of the Public Health Authority (ÚVZ) for Bratislava.
Our weekend reading tips from Spectator.sk:
31. Jul 2020 at 17:41 | Compiled by Spectator staff