News digest: Former top police officers caught up in Purgatory

Rules for the second round of the mass testing announced. More high state officials confined to their homes. Parliament passes help for tourism industry.

Bernard Slobodník is one of the high-ranking police officers detained in operation Purgatory on November 5, 2020. (Source: TASR)

This is your overview of news that happened in Slovakia on Thursday, November 5, 2020.
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Purgatory sends former police head into custody

The National Criminal Agency (NAKA) raided the houses of several former top police officials, including former police corps president Tibor Gašpar in Janíkovce (Nitra Region), starting in the early morning hours of November 5.

As part of Operation Očistec (Purgatory), the police have detained and charged several people, including Gašpar.

President Zuzana Čaputová believes the arrests prove that no one is considered untouchable anymore. PM Igor Matovič said that the world that Robert Fico built to protect himself is nearing its expiration date. Fico said presumption of innocence is not observed in Slovakia, and announced he will turn to the European Commission with his complaint. He insists Gašpar was a good Police Corps president and "I do not know what these people did in their free time".

Related articlePolice raids the houses of former high-ranking police officials Read more 

The next round of tests is coming soon. Who should take one?

The second round of the nationwide testing will look similar to the first, but will be limited to districts with a 0.7-percent or more prevalence of the coronavirus infection. Testing sites will be open between 8:00 and 20:00 both Saturday and Sunday.

The testing will not take place in 25 districts, mostly in the south of Slovakia (except for Dunajská Streda) and the cities of Bratislava and Košice.

People who were not tested in the first round are not to attend the second round of the testing. They are required to remain in home isolation for 10 days.

A school holiday has been announced for all of Slovakia on November 6 (Friday) and November 9 (Monday).

Related articleThe second round of mass testing is coming. Who will need a new certificate? Read more 

More about the coronavirus in Slovakia:

  • Some Slovak hospitals are now experiencing severe difficulties and can no longer admit COVID patients, due to lack of specialised beds or staff. Bojnice and Čadca hospitals have already asked for help on Facebook.
  • The original certificate of a negative test is necessary in order to be allowed movement within the exemptions from the curfew. A photocopy or a picture on a smartphone is not enough.
  • Nature protection activists want the authorities to close the fur farm in Príbovce village in the northern-Slovak district of Martin, which breeds about 5,000 minks. They point to the new mutation of the coronavirus that appeared in fur farms in Denmark, and infected hundreds of people there. (TASR)

Picture of the day

A walk in the countryside is allowed within the anti-epidemic rules, but only if you stay out of residential areas. Jana Liptáková brings five tips for outings in Bratislava during the lockdown.

Feature story for today

With an unlimited amount of money and resources, what would you like to research? The Sme daily asked a panel of noted Slovak scientists. Their answers range from ancient Egypt, through renewability, soil, global change, and other research areas.

Related articleWhat would Slovak researchers study if they were given a blank cheque? Read more 

In other news:

  • President Zuzana Čaputová is working from home until Friday, even though she has not been ordered to quarantine at home. She has not been in contact with a person who tested positive, but she did meet with PM Igor Matovič who has been in quarantine since Wednesday after contact with a person who tested positive. (Office of the President)
  • Defence Minister Jaroslav Naď is also in quarantine.
  • The parliament passed a state support scheme for the pandemic-hit tourism industry in Slovakia in a short-tracked legislative procedure. It has yet to be approved by the European Commission.
  • Airport companies will receive partial compensation due to the pandemic, according to the amendment passed by the parliament. Costs are estimated at €32 million. (Sme)
  • Speaker of Parliament Boris Kollár (Sme Rodina) remains in Kramáre hospital in Bratislava after a late October car accident. He had to undergo surgery and was in a serious condition. Read more about his first message from hospital.
  • MPs passed the amendment to the law on universities that will allow rectors to strip graduates of academic titles, in the event that their graduation thesis "cannot be proven to have been written by the graduate". (Sme)
  • The Constitutional Court ruled that the provision that cuts down on the minimum pension for people who are saving in the second pension pillar is not in line with the Constitution. The former government introduced the minimum pension in 2015. (TASR)
  • InoBat have signed a memorandum with the German-Australian company Primobius, which should recycle e-car batteries from InoBat's planned development centre in Voderady in the western-Slovak region of Trnava.
  • Financier Martin Kvietik and former head of the Agricultural Payments Agency Juraj Kožuch, both facing charges in the major Cattle Breeder corruption case, will remain in pre-trial custody, the court ruled.

Also on today:

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