News digest: Health minister does not recommend booking September holiday abroad

Check out the overview of news from Slovakia for Wednesday, August 26.

Health Minister Marek KrajčíHealth Minister Marek Krajčí (Source: TASR)

Read the overview of news that happened in Slovakia on Wednesday, August 26, 2020, and do not miss to scroll down to our tips for interesting reads.
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Korčok explained popular hoaxes about Belarus

Hoaxes and disinformation spread about the protest in Belarus most often centre around the ‘maidanisation’ of the protests (meaning they are often described in connection with the 2014 demonstrations in Ukraine that led to the change of regime); the increased NATO activities near the borders; the geopolitical fight; the claim that protests are being funded from abroad; and the claim that they use of fascist symbols.

Slovak Foreign Affairs Minister Ivan Korčok (SaS nominee) disproved these hoaxes at a press conference on August 26.

He also opined that the sanctions against Belarus should be introduced as soon as possible.

Tax returns to be submitted by late October

It is possible that taxpayers will be required to submit their income tax returns for 2019 by the end of October.

In a draft amendment to the lex korona law that will soon be discussed by the parliament, the Finance Ministry proposes setting the date of the end of the pandemic to September 30, requiring tax subjects to submit their tax returns during the following month.

The exact date for paying taxes remains unclear.

Health minister warns of holiday abroad

The list of risky countries will change as of September 1.

“It’s not a good idea to plan any holidays in standard tourist destinations for September since the current situation there, particularly in Croatia, has been very critical,” Health Minister Marek Krajčí (OĽaNO) said.

The more detailed information on changes that will become effective in September will be introduced on August 27, after the group of experts meet.

He has also revealed plans to increase the number of sites where the samplings for the COVID-19 tests can be taken and commented on the behaviour of some people who can be described as super-disseminators. The epidemiologists want to eliminate the group of such people whose irresponsible behaviour may make it harder to find the close contacts of the already infected people.

Meanwhile, the central crisis staff agreed to fully lift the ban on civilian flights, meaning they can now also be operated to and from the red zone countries.

Other coronavirus-related stories

  • The August 25 testing revealed 84 new coronavirus-positive cases. With 33 deaths and 2,192 recovered patients, the country now has 1,311 active coronavirus cases. Read more detailed statistics here.
  • The first convicted prisoner was positively diagnosed with the coronavirus. He is serving his sentence in Opatovce (Trenčín Region). The man was isolated on August 23, and then transported to the prison hospital in Trenčín. (TASR)
  • The city of Trnava plans to introduce its own COVID-19 semaphore warning system.
  • All schools in Bratislava will open on September 2, despite the city being in the red phase of its semaphore system, said Education Minister Branislav Gröhling. The limitations apply only to events and activities that expect a higher number of people.

In other news

  • The minimum wage for 2021 will most likely increase from the current €580 to €623. Moreover, it should no longer serve as a base for calculating the surcharges for working on Saturdays, Sundays, and at night. The government has approved the draft amendment prepared by the Labour Ministry, which will now have to be passed by the parliament.
  • The National Criminal Agency (NAKA) has laid charges against 26 public officials during the first six months of this year. In the corruption-related cases, the bribes amounted to more than €12 million. NAKA carried out altogether 96 operations during the first half of 2020. Most of them (26) were related to corruption.
  • Senior citizens in Slovakia will probably receive a 13th pension of €50-€300 this year, which is much less than proposed in the legislation approved shortly before the election by Smer, the Slovak National Party (SNS), the far-right Kotlebovci – People’s Party Our Slovakia (ĽSNS), and Sme Rodina. People with the lowest pension will receive the highest 13th pension. Altogether €307.5 million will be allocated for the 13th pensions this year.
  • The management of U.S. Steel Košice and the trade unionists made a temporary agreement on several disputed points in the new collective agreement. The proposals will now be discussed by the basic trade unions organisations.
  • Seven percent of households in Slovakia face the risk of not being able to repay their loans and other commitments and will see a drop in their incomes due to the pandemic. As much as three-fifths of indebted households have seen their incomes drop due to the coronavirus pandemic, as stems from the report of the National Bank of Slovakia.
  • Slovakia will have five new protected areas from mid-September, namely Čenkov, Kamenínske Slaniská, Marcelovské Lúky, Panské Lúky, and Síky.
  • The international GLOBSEC think tank is organising a virtual conference titled 2020 Digital Stage for about 1,000 guests from all over the world between August 26 and 28. Among the most notable guests are Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Philip T. Reeker, top EU and NATO representatives, and an aerospace engineer. You can watch the conference here.

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