News digest: The Gale targets corruption, cabinet officially prolongs curfew

Slovakia learned about biggest corporate taxpayers, the president signed laws changing the minimum wage and 13th pensions. Read the latest news overview.

Mobile testing units were built in the Hviezdoslavovo Square in Bratislava.Mobile testing units were built in the Hviezdoslavovo Square in Bratislava. (Source: TASR)

This is your overview of news that happened in Slovakia on Wednesday, October 28, 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.

The Gale targets judges

The police detained influential businessman Zoroslav Kollár, who appeared on the so-called mafia lists, and several judges on the morning of October 28, as part of Operation Víchrica (Gale). These include former vice president of the Supreme Court Jarmila Urbancová, Supreme Court Judge Jozef Kolcon, and judges Katarína Bartalská and Otília Doláková.

They have been transported to Nitra, where the National Criminal Agency (NAKA) is headquartered.

Apart from them, former state secretary of the Justice Ministry, Monika Jankovská, and Judge Richard Molnár have been transported there.

The extensive list of people from the judiciary who have been detained, kept in prison and prosecuted shows that it is a systemic issue, so systemic change is required, according to Justice Minister Mária Kolíková (Za Ľudí).

Read moreStorm transforms into Gale. More judges and an influential businessman detained Read more 

The biggest corporate taxpayers revealed

Income taxes and levies, either those paid by enterprises or their employees, make up a significant portion of the state budget’s revenues. A closer look at data from 2019 shows that companies with German capital keep contributing to the state budget the most, followed by those with Slovak capital.

“It pleases me that the contribution of Slovak companies increased more than those of companies with German capital when compared to the previous year,” said Renáta Bláhová of the tax and audit advisory company BMB Partners, when introducing the results of its annual TAXparency report.

Companies with Austrian capital ended third, followed by the US and the Czech Republic.

Read moreWho are the biggest corporate taxpayers? Read more 

The restriction of movements prolonged

The movement of people will be limited again from November 2 to November 8, i.e. during the week that follows the first round of the nationwide testing.

The restrictions will not be applied to people with the negative PCR test result carried out between October 29 and November 1 or with a certificate issued by the Health Ministry that confirms the negative antigen test result carried out between October 29 and November 1.

This stems from a regulation approved by the cabinet.

Currently, the curfew is in place until November 1, when the first round of the nationwide testing ends. The second round is currently scheduled for the second November weekend, and the curfew is expected to end a week after it.

Related articleCurfew might end on November 15 Read more 

Other coronavirus-related developments

  • Altogether 2,887 people were positively diagnosed with the coronavirus disease in Slovakia on October 27, and eight more people died.
  • It will be possible to test homeless people with antigen tests, with the testing kits being provided to respective organisations and facilities by the Labour Ministry.
  • Ten experts from the call centre of Slovenská Sporiteľňa have reinforced the capacities of the state helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 and its impact.
  • Altogether 31 hotels and guest houses have offered accommodation to people who test positive and do not want to spend isolation at their homes.
  • All branches of the national postal service operator Slovenská Pošta will be closed on October 31 and November 1.
  • The coronavirus crisis has threatened the existence of 3,290 companies since the pandemic outbreak in March, of which 2,973 are micro-companies, according to the Bisnode analysis.

Picture of the day:

A special auction is scheduled for next week, organised by the Macho & Chlapovič auction house. It will seek a new owner for the rare, nearly 400-year-old coin 10 Ducat of Ferdinand III, which was minted in 1642. The starting bid is €200,000.

Feature story for today:

The Slovak Spectator has prepared a list of what we know about the practicalities of the nationwide testing so far.

Testing also applies to foreigners and diplomats in Slovakia.

Related articleThe big testing: When and where to show up, and what if I don't want to? (FAQ) Read more 

In other news

  • The first Czechoslovak Republic was established 102 years ago, on October 28, 1918.
  • The Education Ministry will consider the legitimacy of the decision of the academic senate of the Slovak University of Technology (STU) in Bratislava to recall STU Rector Miroslav Fikar after it receives the proposal. Meanwhile, Ombudswoman Mária Patakyová has said that by prohibiting the use of an audiovisual recording device during the meeting, the academic senate breached the law on information.
  • President Zuzana Čaputová has signed two laws: one increasing the minimum wage for next year to €623, the other making changes to the 13th pensions that will be capped at €300.
  • Former general prosecutor Jaromír Čižnár has given up his function as a prosecutor. His function expired today, on October 28.
  • Slovakia has nearly run out of vaccines against the flu.
  • The seasonally adjusted three-month moving average of the economic sentiment indicator increased very slightly by 0.7 points to 88.4 in October 2020. The level of confidence significantly increased in industry, but it considerably dropped in services, construction, trade and slightly among consumers.

Also on today:

Two sisters documented pilot testing in Orava on Instagram. Thousands of people saw their videos Read more 

Related articleCompanies fear drop in demand for their products and services the most Read more 

She grows rust at home and paints with it Read more 

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