This is your overview of news from Slovakia on Tuesday, December 15, 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.
Much-awaited verdict postponed
The Supreme Court was expected to discuss an appeal in the promissory notes case on December 15 and 16, in which Marian Kočner and Pavol Rusko are facing 19 years in prison.
However, Rusko did not arrive at the courtroom, explaining that he had been attacked while jogging, with someone pouring an unknown liquid on him. He thus had to go to the hospital. At the same time, Rusko did not allow the jury to proceed in his absence.
Prosecutor Ján Šanta questioned Rusko's absence and said he is not surprised Rusko did not show up. The court will have to check whether Rusko was really unable to come, while the police investigate the attack.
The proceeding was adjourned to January 12 and 13, 2021.
Bishops support COVID-19 vaccination
The Catholic Church in Slovakia has supported upcoming vaccination against COVID-19, bishops wrote in their statement, in reaction to fake news and hoaxes on the vaccination that have spread online.
“The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us that life and the physical body are precious gifts that God has entrusted to us,” the statement reads. “We should reasonably take care of life and also take into consideration the needs of others and common well-being. An important part of life and health protection is also prevention against infectious diseases.”
Slovak bishops hope that the best possible vaccines will be accessible as soon as possible for ethical reasons and to ensure average effectiveness and safety.
More coronavirus-related news:
Refusing to observe measures and arousing people’s disobedience today is not a step against the government, but against doctors, nurses and families of those infected cases for whom Christmas holidays will be full of stress, fear and pain.„
- More than 2,000 new coronavirus cases were reported on December 14, with more than 10,900 tests carried out. 46 more people died.
- Levies for state-run social insurer Sociálna Poisťovňa do not have to be paid until June 30, 2021. Payments were originally due by the end of the year.
- Former PM Peter Pellegrini confirmed that he has been infected with coronavirus on Facebook. He is staying in home isolation and feels good.
- The scheme for tourism aid has been put into operation on Tuesday midnight. The subjects entitled for aid can fill an application online.
- Slovak scientists have published 10 basic rules to slow down the pandemic:
10 rules for safe Christmas:
- Live in a bubble: meet only with a small group of relatives or friends.
- Make your own isolation: try to avoid any contacts at least seven days before meeting family.
- Wear a mask.
- Avoid close contact with people.
- Use your phone more, contact people outside your bubble without a personal meeting.
- Separate yourself from other people.
- Observe hygiene rules.
- Be active: go out into nature, breathe fresh air without a mask when you are only with people from your bubble.
- Isolate yourself if you have symptoms: fever, cough, loss of taste and smell.
- If infection is confirmed, inform all your close contacts.
Picture of the day:
Feature story of the day:
How the mafia took over the police. Detained tax inspector tells his story
Ľudovít Makó, former head of the Financial Administration's Criminal Office, admitted to the police investigator after he was detained that he was part of a criminal group and started to cooperate with police to receive a milder punishment.
The group pursued three goals, Makó told the police.
“The first was to maintain the political power of the Smer party, especially to eliminate its political opponents and the opposition,” Makó told the police. “The second was to occupy all the important top positions in all the security offices of the state, and thus demonstrate power and strength and subsequently use these conveniences.”
The third goal was to earn money from the blackmailing of entrepreneurs and bribes from people who wanted to avoid investigation.
In other news:
- Jozef Kandera was appointed the first deputy of new General Prosecutor Maroš Žilinka. The prosecutor of General Prosecutor’s Office and former Supreme Court judge will replace Viera Kováčiková, who resigned from her function and the post of prosecutor on December 14.
- New orders in Slovak industry slowed down their growth in October 2020. They increased 2.4 percent in year-on-year, down from September's 4.8 percent. The new orders have increased in the fifth consecutive month after a two-digit fall in the first pandemic wave.
- Police are taking action against the participants of illegal protests, as well as current and former politicians. One person is being persecuted, acting Police Corps President Peter Kovařík has confirmed.
- The Defence Ministry signed a new contract on cooperation with the Association of the Security and Defence Industry. They confirmed their interest in continuing in their mutual cooperation with the aim of supporting the domestic defence industry.
- One in five companies still have not submitted a tax return for 2019. The due date was November 2, the advisory company Bisnode pointed out.
- The best hospitals are in Banská Bystrica and Košice, according to a ranking by the INEKO think tank.
Also on Spectator.sk today: