News digest: National emergency declared constitutional, changes to aid proposed

The overview of news from Wednesday, October 14, 2020.

PM Igor Matovič presents the new aid package for businesses and culture.PM Igor Matovič presents the new aid package for businesses and culture. (Source: TASR)

This is the overview of news that has happened in Slovakia on Wednesday, October 14, 2020. This is a free-of-charge service for our readers. If you want to support us, become a subscriber and get access to more detailed news and interesting feature stories from Slovakia.

Cabinet approves the draft state budget

The cabinet approved the draft general government budgets for the years 2021-2023.

The general government deficit is projected at 7.44 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) next year. The deficit should gradually decrease to 6.18 percent of GDP in 2022 and further to 5.72 percent in 2023. The current estimate for this year assumes a deficit of as much as 9.68 percent of GDP.

The draft budget needs to be approved by the parliament now.

Related articleCoronavirus postpones balanced budget in SlovakiaRead more 

The national emergency is constitutional

The government’s resolution on the national emergency that was declared on October 1 is that it is in compliance with the Constitution and the constitutional law on the state security in times of war, state of war, state of emergency and national emergency.

The decision was issued by the Constitutional Court at a closed session on October 14, the TASR newswire reported.

New package extends the aid

When the Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) government introduced stricter measures early this week, it promised to help entrepreneurs whose business will be affected to overcome the crisis.

The First Aid+ package was presented by Matovič and the ministers of labour, culture and transport on October 14.

It aims to help medical staff infected while providing health care, as well as entrepreneurs and those working in culture and tourism stricken by the coronavirus measures.

Related articleMore money towards wages and new support for restaurants and hotels. New aid plan has been revealedRead more 

Other coronavirus-related developments

  • Slovakia recorded the second-highest daily increase in new coronavirus cases, after 1,410 people were positively diagnosed with the disease on October 13.
  • The state-run Administration of State Material Reserves stored 0.5 million new antigen screening tests for COVID-19, and sent the first 100,000 for nursing homes to the self-governing regions.

Picture of the day

Several areas in Slovakia were hit by heavy rainfall on October 14. The worst situation was in eastern Slovakia, where the highest, third-level warning was issued for several rivers. Some towns in the east had to be evacuated, and firefighters had the most interventions in Košice and the Spiš region.

The floods even claimed a victim, after a 26-year-old man died in the village of Jezersko, near Kežmarok (Prešov Region).

Feature story for today

Far-right leader Marian Kotleba was sentenced to four years and four months in prison, not only because of the cheques worth €1,488.

The verdict has yet to be confirmed by the Supreme Court.

The verbal reasoning of the verdict as given by Judge Ružena Sabová on Monday, October 12, lasted about an hour and a half. She gave a detailed explanation of the circumstances that played against Kotleba, also hinting at how he could have avoided the sentence.

Related articleJudge explained to Kotleba why he is an extremist Read more 

In other news

  • Slovakia will sign a joint declaration with the United States concerning their determination to strengthen cooperation in the field of 5G networks, the cabinet approved at its October 14 session.
  • The parliament adopted an amendment to the law on protecting, supporting and developing public health, which should eliminate inconsistencies related to the measures adopted by the Public Health Authority in the fight against the novel coronavirus, which raised several questions concerning the vaccination against the coronavirus during the debate.
  • The initiators of the Climate Needs You petition and several non-governmental organisations have called on PM Igor Matovič to support stricter EU climate goals, which will be discussed during the session of the Council of the EU that starts in Brussels tomorrow.
  • After the historic growth of consumer prices reported last year and at the beginning of this year, inflation has risen the least in the past three years in September; it amounted to only 1.4 percent year-on-year.
  • More than 11.9 percent of people in Slovakia (or 640,000 people) were threatened with poverty, down by 0.3 percentage points compared with 2018. (Statistics Office)
  • Tesco opened the third new shop in Slovakia this year, this time in Banská Bystrica.

Do not forget that stricter coronavirus measures come into force tomorrow. You can find the list of what changes here.

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