News digest: Slovakia still dealing with the loss of its talent

Economy minister promises extensive support for hydrogen technologies in Slovakia. Far-right supporters protested in front of PM’s house during the weekend.

The far-right ĽSNS organised a protest in front of PM Igor Matovič's house in Trnava. (Source: SITA)

This is your overview of news that happened in Slovakia on Monday, November 30, 2020. This is a free-of-charge service for our readers. If you want to support us, become a subscriber and gain access to more detailed news and interesting feature stories from Slovakia.
For a deeper insight into current political affairs, read Last Week in Slovakia, published earlier today.

Brain drain still a problem

More than one-half of secondary school graduates continue in their studies at universities. However, the best of them keep leaving to study abroad.

In addition, most decide not to return after they finish school, which results in the Slovak labour market losing a qualified workforce and Slovak science losing potential PhD students and scientists.

This can eventually have a negative impact on economic growth, according to the latest analysis on brain drain published by the Institute for Educational Policy, running under the Education Ministry.

Related articleSlovakia keeps losing its best students. They are leaving for schools abroad Read more 

Car industry needs to jump on latest trends

Slovakia, with its four state-of-the-art carmakers, an extensive network of suppliers and the highest number of cars manufactured per 1,000 citizens, is a global automotive superpower. To maintain this position, it needs its car plants to remain competitive and keep up with the latest trends. E-mobility is just one of them; the latest hot topic is hydrogen technology.

“Hydrogen as an energy carrier of the future has a huge long-term potential for Slovakia and can play a key role in our economy,” said Economy Minister Richard Sulík, stressing the environmental aspect of hydrogen when the waste product of its combustion is only water.

Related articleCar industry needs to jump on the latest trends Read more 

Coronavirus-related developments

  • Only 196 people were positively diagnosed with the coronavirus disease in Slovakia on November 29, of 1,063 tests carried out by the labs. 23 more people died, and more than 1,800 have recovered.
  • The Economy Ministry launched the public procurement for new antigen tests, asking the potential bidders to fill in the public questionnaire published on its website until December 2. It will then start negotiations.
  • The support of the health sector must become a priority, according to medical organisations that have sent an open letter to the chairs of the coalition parties. Without it, Slovakia will be threatened with serious consequences of the pandemic, while the operation and provision of accessible health care will be in danger.
  • A new testing site in Bratislava opened in the house of culture in the borough of Ružinov. It is free, and it is possible to book for testing via phone.

Picture of the Day:

The lights on the Christmas tree on the Main Square in Bratislava were switched on during the first Advent Sunday, on November 29. Due to the current pandemic situation, the traditional Christmas markets and the New Year fireworks will be cancelled, but there will be an alternative programme in the streets of the capital.

Feature story for today:

Anyone can publish a book. Authors often avoid publishers

Self-publishing is becoming popular among an increasing number of authors these days. The lack of publishers’ interest in their book is only one of many reasons.

Some authors are lured by the idea of creative freedom; others want to control the entire process, from writing to distribution. They can even prevent their book from being offered for sale at a 50-percent discount only six months after publication.

Related articleAnyone can publish a book. Authors often avoid publishers Read more 

In other news

  • About 500 supporters of the far-right Kotlebovci – People’s Party Our Slovakia (ĽSNS) protested against the house of PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) in Trnava on November 28, asking for his resignation and criticising vaccination against COVID-19. The protest took place despite the national emergency and the ban on public assemblies with more than six people being in place.
  • Peter Pellegrini became the chair of the Hlas party at a congress held on November 28. Denisa Saková, Richard Raši and Erik Tomáš were elected deputy chairs.
  • The prosecutor of the Special Prosecutor’s Office has proposed 25 years in prison for all three defendants in the murder case of ex-Hurbanovo mayor László Basternák. Apart from Roman Ostružlík, charged with ordering the murder, Alena Zsuzsová and Vladimír Mosnár stand accused in the case.
  • The Slovak Land Fund (SPF) does not have to pay nearly €16 million, plus interests from delay since 2008, to the Digital Floor Ltd. company for the marred investment in Veľký Slavkov (Prešov Region). The Prešov Regional Court confirmed the first-instance verdict from October 2019, and dismissed the appeal of the London-based firm.
  • Slovakia signed a bilateral agreement with Hungary over the collaboration in military air force. In the case of violating the air space of one country, it can use the means possessed by the second party of the deal.
  • The financial sector in Slovakia remains stable, despite the impact of the coronavirus crisis on Slovak economy. However, the profits of banks will be significantly impacted, according to the financial stability report issued by the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS).
  • The prices of residential properties in the third quarter of 2020 rose 8.5 percent year-on-year. Compared with the previous quarter, they rose 1.5 percent, according to the Statistics Office.
  • A new state strategic industrial section should be built near Rimavská Sobota (Banská Bystrica Region), measuring 65 hectares and creating 500 new jobs, according to the proposal of the Economy Ministry submitted for interdepartmental review. (TASR)
  • Slovakia has a new National SuperComputing Centre that will cover HPC (High Performance Computing) activities, including strengthening HPC competencies in cooperation with the National Competence Center for HPC, development of HPC infrastructure, support of projects and investments in the field of HPC.
  • The number of homeless people increases, according to the Depaul organisation. The number of people using its services between 2018 and 2020 rose 5.5 percent, while the number of overnight stays went up 6.1 percent.

Also on today:

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Related articleSulík’s party benefits from the dispute with PM Matovič Read more 

Related articleDon’t get lost in Bratislava. Some public transport stops change names Read more 

Related articleMichael's Tower closed from December due to reconstruction Read more 

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