News digest: 14 people taken to the police after November 17 protests

The cabinet plans to purchase 11 million antigen tests. Some university rectors create a new platform to discuss less popular topics.

An unathorised protest took place in Bratislava on November 17. An unathorised protest took place in Bratislava on November 17. (Source: SME)

This is the overview of news that happened in Slovakia on Wednesday, November 18, 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.

14 protesters suspected of committing crimes

Police officers took 14 people who participated in the unauthorised protests in Bratislava on November 17 to the police station. They are suspected of criminal behavior.

The police did not have to intervene in other towns where the protest gatherings took place, or detain any participants. Moreover, people outside the capitals were disciplined, kept distance, wore masks and ended the demonstrations calmly, said Denisa Bárdyová, spokesperson of the Police Corps Presidium, as reported by the SITA newswire.

Meanwhile, the investigator launched a criminal prosecution after a police officer was attacked during the protest that took place in front of the Government’s Office in Bratislava. Someone from the crowd threw a firecracker that exploded close to the police officer’s face, injuring the officer.

PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) has praised the police officers for effectively managing the situation.

Related articleStreet protests as Slovakia marks the Velvet Revolution anniversary Read more 

Some coronavirus-related developments

  • 1,113 people were diagnosed with the coronavirus on November 17, while 22 people died and more than 2,000 have recovered. The labs carried out 5,833 tests.
  • Slovakia plans to purchase about 11 million antigen tests, said PM Igor Matovič. The parties will discuss the plan at the coalition council first.
  • Some mobile testing sites in Bratislava are having problems with antigen tests. They ran out of them shortly after opening during the first week of operation, according to the Sme daily.
  • For now, the state is not regularly publishing the number of antigen tests that have been conducted. This should change, and the data from antigen testing should be made public on Thursday (November 19) or Friday (November 20), Health Minister Marek Krajčí (OĽaNO) said.
  • Pavol R. from the Czech Republic, detained during the October protests held in front of the Government’s Office in Bratislava, will be prosecuted in custody, the Bratislava Region Court decided.
  • Slovenia lists Slovakia as a red country, meaning that incomers should either show a negative PCR test no older than 48 hours or enter 10-day isolation.

New platform of rectors

Rectors of nine universities and colleges in Slovakia have created a new, independent platform. It should serve as an alternative to the officially presented line of the Slovak Rectors’ Conference (SRK).

It was established symbolically on November 17.

“We don’t want our initiative to be perceived as a fight against somebody,” the rectors, who created the Alternative Platform of Slovak Rectors, wrote in a statement. “We want this platform to serve for free and open discussion about issues most representatives of Slovak universities pass in silence.”

The topics they would like to discuss include the diversification of universities and colleges, the quality of education, and the current management of schools.

Related articleRectors create an alternative platform to discuss less popular yet pressing issues Read more 

Personalities awarded for their bravery

Five personalities from Slovakia and the Czech Republic received the Memory of the Nation Awards this year. Granted since 2010 by the Post Bellum organisation, the awards are given out on November 17 to people who showed that honour, freedom and human dignity are not only empty words.

The award-winning ceremony took place in the National Theatre in Prague, but without any guests and laureates. It was broadcast live by the Czech and Slovak public-service broadcasters.

Related articleA Slovak woman recorded names of people executed by the Nazis. Now she received an award Read more 

Picture of the day:

A special audience sat on the tribunes during the football match between Senica and Sereď on November 17. Although the top competitions and the matches of the second league can take place, they should be held without spectators.

Feature story for today:

Uncertainties abound, yet recovery is likely forthcoming in 2021

Amidst the surging COVID-19 pandemic and threats of a lockdown in the coming months, the economic outlook is extremely uncertain. The first wave of the pandemic has already chopped off about 13 percent of the Slovak economy, throwing it back five years.

A post-pandemic rebound of the economy, however, is likely in 2021.

Read a forecast by Zdenko Štefanides, Chief Economist at VÚB Banka.

In other news

  • The Supreme Court has confirmed custody for Martin Kvietik and Juraj Kožuch, who face corruption-related charges in the high-profile Dobytkár (Stock Farmer) case, until April 1, 2021.
  • A new transition junction for public transport was created in Bratislava near Šafárikovo Square. It will be used by buses travelling along the Danube embankment and trams driving towards the main railway station, to Petržalka, Trnavské Mýto or Račianske Mýto.
  • Altogether 14,676 new companies were established in Slovakia during the first nine months of the year. The largest number of limited liability companies were created in February (2,012), according to the Bisnode analysis.
  • The demand for industrial properties in Slovakia dropped annually in the third quarter of the year to 75,000 square metres, according to the CBRE data. Analysts expect the final quarter will be strong, though.
  • Klingerka in Bratislava’s Ružinov borough, developed by J&T Real Estate, has become the highest residential building in Slovakia. It has 35 floors and reaches 115 metres in height.

Also on today:

Related articlePandemic situation impacts more trains Read more 

Related articleTatra peaks and valleys from a plane. Check new aerial video-map Read more 

Related articleSlovak industrial companies lag behind in digital transformation Read more 

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