TODAY IN SLOVAKIA

News digest: Mass events permitted with limitations, national emergency returns

The overview of news from Wednesday, September 30, 2020.

Cultural and sports mass events and masses will be allowed in the end.Cultural and sports mass events and masses will be allowed in the end. (Source: TASR)

This is your overview of news that happened in Slovakia on Wednesday, September 30, 2020.
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Voting on changes to abortions postponed

MPs have shifted voting on the draft legislation on abortions to another parliamentary session to be held in October after MPs from junior coalition parties Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) and Za Ľudí, and members of the Hlas party removed their voting cards.

This prevented the parliament from having a quorum.

The draft has been criticised by several activists from Slovakia and abroad, who pointed mostly to the fact that it will make it harder for women to undergo abortions.

Related articleParliament postpones vote on proposed abortions rules Read more 

NBS improves this year’s GDP growth prediction

Slovakia’s central bank, which closely follows analysts of the Finance Ministry and selected commercial banks, has revised its prediction for economic growth.

In its recent forecast, the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) predicts the gross domestic product will contract by 8.2 percent this year, which is much better than its previous prediction of 10.3 percent.

On the other hand, it worsened its growth prediction for 2021, decreasing it from 8.4 percent to the current 5.4 percent, and for 2022 by 0.3 percentage points to 4.2 percent.

Related articleThe central bank is optimistic about this year's economic growth Read more 

National emergency returns

A national emergency will be declared on Thursday, October 1.

It will last for at least the following 45 days.

“We’ll see what effect the travelling during All Saints’ Day will have, and we’ll then decide on prolonging it or returning to normal,” PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) wrote on Facebook.

Related articleNational emergency will be declared on Thursday Read more 

Other coronavirus developments

  • British daily The Guardian reported on Slovakia's new record in daily COVID-19 cases in its newsfeed after the country reported 567 new infections revealed by the September 29 testing. Three more people died.
  • The rules for mass events will change; the number of participants will be curbed to 50, regardless of whether the event is held inside or outside.
  • The Health Ministry has called on all medical students to help fight against the coronavirus pandemic, offering them jobs in mobile sampling sites and regional Public Health Office branches.
  • The traditional Christmas markets in Bratislava and the Day of Open Cellars (scheduled for November 20 and 21) have been cancelled this year.

Picture of the day:

In other news

  • President Zuzana Čaputová appointed Robert Šorl the new judge of the Constitutional Court. He will replace Mojmír Mamojka, who left on his own request.
  • The Judicial Council has proposed Miroslav Gavalec as Slovakia’s candidate for the Court of Justice of the European Union.
  • The council of prosecutors will nominate Jozef Čentéš for the post of general prosecutor.
  • The government has approved the judiciary reform submitted by Justice Minister Mária Kolíková, which introduces changes to some top judicial bodies, the establishment of a new court and checks on property disclosures.
  • The government agreed with lawyer Zuzana Dlugošová and analyst of the Supreme Audit Office Martin Rajňák as candidates for the top post at the Office to Protect Whistleblowers.
  • The Czech Republic will not extradite Jozef Majský, sentenced for embezzling non-banking companies, to Slovakia for now.
  • The Institute for Financial Policy has revised its prediction for this year’s drop in public administration incomes, claiming they will drop by €900 million (down by €700 million).
  • 365.bank will replace most of the branches currently operating under the Poštová Banka brand next year and become the main bank of the group, with the latter returning to postal offices and workplaces offering financial services.
  • The Open Society Foundation has published the list of winners of the 2019 Journalism Award in 13 categories. Six went to the Denník N daily, three to the Aktuality.sk website, the Sme daily and the public-service broadcaster RTVS respectively, and one each to the Týždeň weekly, the Young Against Fascism organisation, the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), the Piešťanský Denník local daily newspaper and the Trend weekly.

Also on Spectator.sk:

Related articleGovernment looks to crack down on crooks’ property and judicial corruption Read more 

Related articleA well-known fashion brand leaves Slovakia Read more 

Related articleHow university students built stone routes in the Low Tatras Read more 

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