This is your overview of news that happened in Slovakia on Tuesday, November 10, 2020.
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Conditions on borders will change
The central crisis staff, an advisory body of the government, has recommended putting Hungary, Austria and Poland on the list of red countries.
Slovakia should require a PCR or antigen test from people who cross the borders, PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) noted. It will be possible to undergo an antigen test at some of the border crossings. Matovič expects there will be 10-12 of them.
In addition, Slovakia will follow the EU COVID-19 semaphore warning system when deciding about the risk countries. Cross-border commuters should undergo testing once every two weeks. These changes need to be approved by the cabinet first.
National emergency to be prolonged
The central crisis staff approved the extension of the national emergency in Slovakia by a further 90 days. The national emergency was declared on October 1 for 45 days, meaning it ends this week.
The proposal has been opposed by the junior coalition party Freedom and Solidarity (SaS). Its chair and Economy Minister Richard Sulík suggested a compromise: prolonging the national emergency by 30 days.
Also some legal experts doubt the prolongation as proposed by the central crisis staff. The law stipulates that the national emergency can be declared for 90 days only. Ombudswoman Mária Patakyová noted that if prolonged, it should count 90 days together with the already valid national emergency.
The national emergency is necessary for imposing the curfew.
The cabinet will have the final word.
- When a COVID-19 vaccine will be available, vaccination will not be obligatory, said PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) in an interview with Radio Expres. The state should do a massive campaign in the upcoming months, he added.
- 1,051 people were positively diagnosed with the coronavirus disease in Slovakia on November 9, while 1,961 people have recovered from the disease.
- Another round of mass testing is supposed to take place on the weekend of November 21-22, but only in municipalities where the rate of infection in the second round was higher than 1 percent, PM Igor Matovič said.
- More than 35 percent of Slovaks feel highly threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is similar to the spring, when the coronavirus broke out, as the recent survey suggests.
Picture of the day:
Feature story for today:
When the former top police officers serving under the Smer government were arrested last week, Smer leader and the former three-time prime minister Robert Fico yelled at journalists that the prosecution is following political orders and there is no evidence to sustain it.
The document of charges, however, shows that the police have more than just testimonies of how "someone demanded something at an unspecified space, an unspecified person, and unspecified bribe," as Fico described it at his November 5 press conference.
Meanwhile, some of the people who have been arrested on corruption charges in the past few months are now cooperating with the police. They also mention Fico.
In other News:
- A producer of car seat covers, Trim Leader, plans to withdraw its production from the brown industrial park in Bardejov, with almost 360 jobs expected to be axed and a total of 450 jobs at risk in the company making car seat covers. In addition, employees of the company's plant in Košťany nad Turcom (Žilina Region) are to be made redundant.
- Special Prosecutor Dušan Kováčik will stay in custody, after the senate of the Supreme Court turned down his complaint as unreasonable.
- The Specialised Criminal Court accepted criminal charges against František Tóth, who is accused of bribing judges in Žilina. The main session will start on November 20.
- The African swine fever (AMO) spread to the ninth district in the past 16 months, this time to Bardejov.
- The export of goods from Slovakia exceeded total imports by €707.9 million in September, making it the second-highest trade surplus since 2010, after this year's June record.
- Industrial production closely approximated last year's volume, but still did not exceed it. The rate of the year-on-year decline in industrial production decreased for the fifth month in a row, reaching only 0.2 percent in September 2020.
- People can now find data about the air quality in Slovakia at a new website, Dnesdycham.sk. Environment Minister Ján Budaj (OĽaNO) considers the new website a call an attitude change towards the environment.
- The state will support employment in the Upper Nitra region with almost €12 million, allocated from EU funds, which will be used mainly for the requalification of miners to another kind of industry.
Also on Spectator.sk: