This is your overview of news that happened in Slovakia on Tuesday, December 1, 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.
Police raid Penta premises
The police have raided the Digital Park building in Bratislava, where the Penta financial group has their headquarters, the Denník N reported on the evening of December 1.
Dozens of police officers with submachine guns entered and employees were required to leave the building, according to the media reports.
The National Criminal Agency (NAKA) has detained several people, including Jaroslav Haščák. They brought him in for an interrogation at the Police Corps Presidium, and did not let him leave the building. He has been charged with corruption and money laundering, the Aktuality.sk news website reported.
Slovak economy to contract by more than 6 percent
Slovakia's economy might contract by 6.3 percent this year. The situation is expected to improve though, and the economy is projected to grow at 2.7 percent in 2021, and by 4.3 percent in 2022, according to the recent OECD Economic Outlook.
The OECD predicts that consumption in Slovakia will gradually recover thanks to higher disposable income, improved conditions in the labour market and increased household confidence as an effective vaccine is rolled out.
At the same time, unemployment is set to fall gradually, but will remain above pre-crisis levels until the end of 2022, the report reads.
Anti-communist fighters will receive almost €2,000
The parliament gave the green light to the amendment on pensions for veterans of the anti-communist resistance and their relatives.
People who were part of the resistance against the totalitarian communist regime between 1948 and 1989 will see their pension bonuses double. They will also receive a symbolic one-time compensation of €1,989.
On top of their one-time compensation of €1,989, veterans will also receive a raise in their retirement subsidies of €5 to €10 for each month they had their personal freedom denied by the pre-1989 communist government. The amendment is scheduled to become effective as of January 1, 2021.
Picture of the day:
Firefighters starting pulling the Wallsee tugboat that sank in the Bratislava port on November 20 out of water.
Feature story for today:
While big cities like Rome or London can make some people feel like strangers even after they have spent many years there, Bratislava gives foreigners a more pleasant experience.
“Here, after a few weeks, I felt at home. It was an amazing feeling,” Israeli Ambassador Boaz Modai, who has served in several world capitals, said in the Spectacular Slovakia podcast.
Nonetheless, when he first visited the Slovak capital for a brief amount of time 15 years ago, he looked at Bratislava as a village.
Listen to the latest podcast with Ambassador Modai.
In other news:
- The coalition council has agreed that the election of new general prosecutor will be held on Thursday, December 3 at 17:00.
- A non-scheduled parliamentary session initiated by the opposition party Smer will take place on December 2. The party wants the deputies to approve a resolution on declaring a referendum.
- Mafia group member Patrik Šnajdr, detained earlier this year in South Africa, was transported to Slovakia where he will serve his sentence. He has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.
- The Defence Ministry is secretly preparing to procure 14 combat infantry vehicles. The same modernisation of overall 35 vehicles was carried out when the department was led by Peter Gajdoš and Martin Glváč, with both facing criticism for it.
- Altogether 58 new cases of HIV cases were reported in Slovakia since the beginning of the year until the end of October. One patient has died.
- The parliament prolonged state aid with the rents. The applicants can receive a subsidy a maximum of 50 percent of the rent if the lessor offers the same discount.
- The conditions for providing state investment aid will be milder due to the coronavirus crisis. Project completion deadlines will be longer and the project will be easier to change.
- The European Commission has sent €8.5 billion to five EU member states through the SURE tool. Slovakia will receive €300 million.
- The Council for Budget Responsibility projects the public administration budget deficit at 7.2 percent of GDP this year. Yesterday, the central bank also published its estimate, at 9.8 percent.
- Skier Petra Vlhová, together with five more people of the board and 46 sports clubs, have left the Slovak Skiing Association. At the same time, the Education Ministry has revoked its status as a national sport association.
- The Climate Needs You petition with more than 120,000 signatures will be debated in the parliament, the parliamentary agriculture and environment committee agreed on Tuesday.
Disclaimer: The Penta financial group has a minority share in Petit Press, the publisher of the Sme daily and the co-owner of The Slovak Spectator.
Also on Spectator.sk today: