News digest: Funeral preparations and concerns over violence in America

The police say they will be stricter when checking adherence to measures. Haščák released from custody. Another candidate for the top Special Prosecutor post steps forward.

Shoe repair shops will be allowed to open as of Monday, January 11. (Source: TASR)

This is your overview of news from Slovakia on Thursday, January 7, 2021. 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.

Slovak politicians react to violence on Capitol Hill

The top representatives of Slovakia have expressed their concerns over the events in Washington, where protestors stormed the Capitol building and violence ensued.

President Zuzana Čaputová wrote on Twitter that the scenes from the US Capitol show how dangerous the "rhetoric of hatred" is, and expressed trust that democratic and peaceful process will be restored soon.

"This is the moment when democratic process and rule of law must be respected," tweeted Foreign Affairs Minister Ivan Korčok.

Related articleČaputová: Scenes from the Capitol show how dangerous the rhetoric of hatred is Read more 

Police brace themselves for the funeral of their ex chief

The funeral of former Police Corps president Milan Lučanský, who committed suicide in Prešov prison where he was placed in pre-trial custody on corruption charges, will take place in the early afternoon on Friday.

Lučanský's death has sparked questions among the public and was followed by a major disinformation campaign mainly on social media, where conspiracy theories about the cause of his death are being peddled alongside legitimate questions. The All for Milan Facebook group, which was discovered by Dennik N, was started by two accounts with questionable identity and now counts more than 41,000 members.

The police are preparing for the funeral where massive attendance is expected despite the anti-coronavirus measures in place. The acting Police Corps President has announced they will be making sure the rules are observed and they will be checking that funeral-goers have negative COVID-19 tests.

Updates on the coronavirus in Slovakia

  • As of January 11, public health authorities will allow shoe repair shops to open. Hotels will also be allowed to open for short-term stays for people who are travelling for the purpose of visiting a health care facility.
  • The police are taking measures to prevent the mobility of people in Slovakia. The acting Police Corps President Peter Kovařík called on citizens to respect the measures.
  • The police have recorded 38,311 violations of law from the beginning of the pandemic to the end of 2020. In 2,029 out of the 5,396 reported cases, quarantine violation was confirmed.
  • All the branches of the Slovenská Pošta postal service will be closed over the coming weekend (January 9 - 10) due to the negative development of the pandemic.
  • The first set of antigen tests has arrived in Slovakia, Economy Minister Richard Sulík informed.
  • If relevant authorities decide on keeping schools closed after January 11, parents with children of up to 11 years of age will be entitled to a pandemic benefit for the care of a family member, also known as pandemic OČR.

Quote of the day

"We Americans have been reminded that the watchword of democracy is “vigilance”. Be vigilant, Slovakia. Please be vigilant."

Christopher Helton, an American living in Slovakia, writes in his letter to the editor after the Capitol Hill incident.

Related articleBe vigilant, Slovakia Read more 

In other news

  • The Supreme court released Jaroslav Haščák, who faces charges in connection with the Gorilla corruption case, from pre-trial custody on January 7.
  • Prosecutor of the Special Prosecutor's Office Vasiľ Špirko is running for the top post of the office. He was nominated by OĽaNO MP Dominik Drdul. Špirko became known to the public when he accused the then interior minister Robert Kaliňák of Smer of plotting a corruption scheme.
  • Slovak Lines are temporarily halting the bus line from Bratislava to Hainburg, Austria, as of January 8 due to the pandemic situation and the economic impact of the new measures. (TASR)
  • Bratislava public transport will follow the school holiday schedules as of January 7. The lines 7, 25, 26, 69, 92, 192 and 196 are thus resuming operation after the Christmas holidays. The line 144 to Kamzík, which was temporarily strengthened during the Christmas holiday, will resume operating only on weekends and holidays.
  • Bratislava has kicked off the collection of Christmas trees. There is a schedule and special wooden fences.
  • Revenues in retail dropped in November by 0.4 percent in the year-on-year comparison, after four consecutive months of growth. November is an important month for businesses in retail, marking the start of Christmas shopping.

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