News digest: No skiing in Slovakia at least until January

The coalition should meet to discuss the opening of schools, former police corps president travelled to Slovakia to be detained.

First snow appeared in Bratislava and caused traffic problems

This is the Thursday, December 3, 2020 edition of Today in Slovakia. Learn about politics, business, and other notable events of the day in Slovakia in less than five minutes. If you like what we are doing and want to support good journalism, buy our online subscription. Thank you.

Return of children to school remains complicated

PM Igor Matovič announced on December 2 that he was stepping in to handle the return of teenagers to schools, but no further details have been released yet. He suggested some schools, including the private school in Trnava that his two daughters attend, could be part of his pilot project to test all pupils using rapid tests before opening as early as Monday.

Grades five to nine of primary schools and secondary schools have been on distance learning since October 26.

Education Minister Branislav Gröhling (SaS) announced that his ministry was cooperating with other ministries and state offices to get children back to school on January 6. He did not rule out some scheduled holidays in January and February may be scrapped. His original plans that counted on an earlier return in December have not received a green light from the crisis staff.

SaS politicians have suggested their minister did not succeed due to political quarrels.

Junior coalition Za Ľudí party leader Veronika Remišová has called for a non-scheduled coalition council meeting on the opening of schools. She insists that children cannot be hostages of political quarrels. She said she wanted pupils in schools on December 7.

The OĽaNO party of PM Igor Matovič said they do not consider the opening of schools to be a political issue but rather an expert epidemiological issue that should be dealt with by the epidemiological consilium, pandemic committee and central crisis staff.

First snow caused problems in Bratislava

The first snow in the capital this year caused problems for transport. There were several accidents, traffic jams were created on entrances to the city and public transport was delayed, especially in the hilly parts of the city.

The Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute issued warnings of black ice that are valid until December 3, 19:00.

Accidents and delays. First snow in Bratislava this winter Read more 

Another former police chief detained

Former Police Corps president Milan Lučanský has met the same fate as his predecessor Tibor Gašpar who was detained in November.

The public learnt about the charges against Lučanský on December 2, when police launched an event called Judas, when other high-profile police officials were detained as well.

But Lučanský was in Croatia at that time. He agreed with the investigator to return for interrogation and he was arrested on December 3, in the early morning.

Lučanský is under suspecion of accepting bribes of €500,000 in the years 2014 and 2015 but also after the murder of Ján Kuciak, when he became Police Corps president, the Denník N daily reported.

Ex-police chief Lučanský in handcuffs Read more 

Photo of the day:

Feature story of the day:

Grandson turns his blue-haired grandma into an Instagram sensation

She has blue hair and a grandson-photographer who wanted to show the world what an exceptional human being she is.

He has founded an Instagram profile for her. Blue grandma has more than 13,000 followers and even though she did not know what "follower" means, she enjoyed a recent online conversation with President Zuzana Čaputová, who is one of them.

Grandson turns his blue-haired grandma into an Instagram sensation Read more 

Other news

  • Slovakia's mountain resorts will not open this ski season until at least January, confirmed Transport Minister Andrej Doležal, whose ministry also oversees the tourism industry. Epidemiologists are expected to recommend tightening measures at their Friday meeting, including the closing of ski resorts, he explained in a live broadcast on Facebook. Read more about the preparations for this unusual season.
  • 1,982 people were positively diagnosed with the coronavirus disease in Slovakia on December 2, the total number increased to 111,208.
  • Income tax rules will change in Slovakia. Some of the major changes are aimed at fighting tax avoidance and exporting income to tax havens.
  • The prosecutor has proposed pretrial custody for businessman Jaroslav Haščák who was detained on corruption charges on Tuesday. (Sme)
  • Judges of the Supreme Court's Administrative College demand to be automatically transitioned with their administrative apparatus to the Supreme Administrative Court, which is expected to emerge as a result of the judiciary reform proposed by Justice Minister Mária Kolíková which is currently being debated in parliament. (TASR)
  • Bratislava-based Volkswagen plant is the Factory of the Year, an award organised by the Kearney advisory company.
  • The Festival of contemporary design, Bratislava Design Week, starts today. Exhibitions will be in the Apponyi Palace and the Erdődy Palace. The festival is also broadcasting online.
  • The number of personal bankrupts has significantly risen in November, but the overall number for 2020 is unlikely to exceed last year. In November, 1,147 people in Slovakia went bankrupt, a y-o-y growth by 136 percent and m-o-m growth by 41 percent.
  • Retail income in the Eurozone increased faster than expected this October. The month-on-month increase is 1.5 percent, while analysts expected it to grow at half that pace. The increase is especially due to the pandemic-driven strong internet sales.
  • More than 72 percent of people trust the Slovak Armed Forces. The Armed Forces reported this based on the latest of its regular polls, conducted between October 27 and November 2 on 1,200 respondents. (TASR)

Also on today:

Aupark shopping mall changing hands. Price will exceed all previous records Read more  Bödör reportedly paid €50,000 for non-prosecution of ex-economy minister's nephew Read more 

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