News digest: Reform plan is out, culture calls for help

An overview of news from Monday, October 5, 2020.

Finance Minister Eduard Heger (l) and Štefan Kišš, head of the Value for Money Unit, introduce the reform plan for Slovakia.Finance Minister Eduard Heger (l) and Štefan Kišš, head of the Value for Money Unit, introduce the reform plan for Slovakia. (Source: TASR)

This is the overview of news that happened in Slovakia on Monday, October 5, 2020. For a more analytical view into the current affairs, read our Last Week in Slovakia, published earlier today.
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The Finance Ministry reveals its reform plan

The Finance Ministry has published the long-awaited reform plans, for which it expects to receive €7.5 million from the Next Generation EU recovery fund.

The goal is to help the country escape the middle-income trap and achieve 92 percent of the EU 27 average in the GDP per capita by 2030.

“These reforms can catapult us to a higher quality of life,” Finance Minister Eduard Heger (OĽaNO) told the October 5 press conference.

Titled Modern and Successful Slovakia, the reform plan focuses on eight areas. The minister now plans to start a broad public debate.

Read more: The Finance Ministry publishes its much-awaited reform plan Read more 

Culture organisations planning a protest

Several cultural organisations are struggling to survive due to the coronavirus pandemic and measures adopted to contain the infection.

To draw attention to their problems, they are planning a protest for October 14 that will take place on SNP Square at 17:00.

Meanwhile, the representatives of cultural organisations sent an open letter to PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO), criticising his approach to the issues in culture and asking him to start dealing with their problems.

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Related article Cultural organisations will protest to draw attention to problems in the creative industry Read more 

Other coronavirus-related news:

  • 353 new coronavirus-positive cases were uncovered by October 4 testing, increasing the total number to 13,492.
  • Žilina University is launching online teaching after four of its employees tested positive for the coronavirus. Students are asked to leave dormitories by October 18.
  • Doctors in Komárno successfully performed an operation on an 80-year-old patient positive with the coronavirus, with the surgery taking place in a red COVID zone under strict epidemic measures.
  • The planned October pilgrimages in Šaštín (Trnava Region) were cancelled following the introduction of the strict coronavirus measures concerning mass events.

Picture of the day:

Feature story for today:

The delay in constructing important roads is only one of the problems the transport department has to deal with. One of the weak points is that the highways or express dual-carriageways are often constructed in the sections where they are not needed at all, and the ministry does not pay enough attention to the maintenance of the first-class roads that may often replace them.

The previous management of the Transport Ministry failed to remedy many deficiencies.

Observers hope the current one will fare better.

Read more:

Highways do not solve every regional traffic problem Read more 

In other news

  • President Zuzana Čaputová removed from their office 63 judges of general courts, who have turned 65 years old.
  • Turnover in retail trade and catering services grew for the second month in a row, increasing 4 percent year-on-year. In a monthly comparison, they went up by 1.7 percent.
  • The Embraco Slovakia company from Spišská Nová Ves (Košice Region) has taken back one-third of the employees it had to dismiss due to the coronavirus crisis.
  • 529 personal bankruptcies were declared in Slovakia in September, increasing the number in the third quarter to 2,034, according to the CRIF – Slovak Credit Bureau company.
  • President Zuzana Čaputová signed a law allowing another gun amnesty, lasting from November 1, 2020 to late April 2021.
  • Slovak patients spent 7.5 days on average on hospital beds last year, compared to 10 days in 2001, according to the National Health Information Centre’s statistics.

Read on

Related article Bratislava’s Nové Mesto mayor faces charges for his decisions on development projects Read more 

Related article COVID-19 curbs Christmas market plans in Bratislava Read more 

Related article Rare Czechoslovak coin auctioned for €850,000 Read more 

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