News digest: Vaccine hesitancy down and zero VAT on FFP2 masks

Slovakia is experiencing freezing weather, Bratislava city transport company strengthens some routes so people can enjoy the winter outdoors.

Eastern Slovakia, as well as other parts of Slovakia, were blasted with snow and freezing temperatures. Eastern Slovakia, as well as other parts of Slovakia, were blasted with snow and freezing temperatures. (Source: TASR)

This is the Friday, February 12, 2021 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.

Check out the Spectacular Slovakia roundup for weekend reading tips

Roundup: A virtual exhibition, inspired by Alfonz Mucha, ironises Slovak history Read more 

Vaccine hesitancy down. Eligible elderly have a problem with registration

A month and a half into the Covid vaccination rollout in Slovakia, significantly more people say they are willing to get the jab than in the previous months.

This positive trend is good news for Slovakia, where still only slightly more than one third of the population say they are willing to get vaccinated. But there is a big difference between willingness and actually getting the shot, according to sociologist Barbara Lášticová of the Slovak Academy of Sciences.

“Behaviour may be in discordance with attitudes,” she told The Slovak Spectator. People who do not want to get vaccinated may go anyway, due to social pressure or pressure from their employer.

More people willing to get vaccinated. Some eligible elderly do not know how Read more 

Business Focus

In January 2021, The Slovak Spectator published its Business Focus on business service centres.

Lay-offs, digitalisation, robotisation, business environment as well as the new home office legislation are among the highlights of the latest Business Focus.

Feature story for today

The agricultural south of the Gemer region in eastern Slovakia is a region on the margins and not just on the map. After the demise of communist- era cooperative farms and the production of certain foodstuffs, the region was no longer politically considered a part of Slovakia’s future. The people of this region were confronted with problems that have not dissipated since the early 1990s.

But this region is not withering like other forgotten corners of Slovakia, stricken with an ageing population and increasingly scarce job opportunities. The Roma here aren’t part of the problem, but rather, the solution.

Where the Roma aren’t a part of the problem, but rather, the solution Read more 

Photo of the day:

The cylindrical tower dominating the Nové Mesto borough of Bratislava, known as Kukurica (Corn Cob), is gearing up for an overhaul. Erected in the 1970s it was, with its 25 storeys and a height of 82 metres, the highest residential building in Bratislava, as well as the highest building with a cylindrical floor plan in Europe. Back then, it was a problem to get a crane high enough for its construction.

Kukurica tower in Bratislava prepares for facelift Read more 

In other news

  • On Sunday, February 14, the National Health Information Centre (NCZI), will not provide the regular Covid-19 statistics from Saturday due to planned maintenance of its IT system. It will report the data on Monday, February 15, along with the data for Sunday, February 14.
  • General prosecutor Maroš Žilinka ordered that the criminal prosecution of former general prosecutor Dobroslav Trnka in the Glance House case, over suspicion of a particularly serious crime of abuse of powers by a public official, be resumed. Trnka allowed the unblocking of real estate in 2012 as deputy general prosecutor. The property was blocked by the Special Prosecutor’s Office. Trnka’s actions helped a group of businessmen around Marian Kočner. (SITA)
  • Penta investment group has new partners. Fabrice Dumontheil, Václav Jirků and Marián Slivovič, long-time colleagues of the group, are becoming further co-owners and members of the group’s top management. At the same time, the current co-owner of Penta, Eduard Maták, who is responsible for health care, is leaving the group at the end of the year. His roles in healthcare companies will be taken over by Václav Jirků. Maták will deal with these companies as a member of the Supervisory Board. (SITA)
  • Zero VAT on FFP2 and FFP3 respirators is in effect as of Friday, February 12, 2021. The measure is planned to remain in place until April 30 of this year. Some experts have recommended these respirators as providing better protection against coronavirus. It is mandatory to wear them in some areas of public life in Austria, for example. (TASR)
  • Bratislava will strengthen public transport during the weekend to enable people to enjoy winter in the countryside. The public transport company DPB will use its biggest trolleybuses on the trolley bus line 203; these will connect the city centre with the Koliba recreational resort. From there bus Nr 144 will take people directly to the Kamzík venue. Bus Nr 43 will run each 20 minutes between Patrónka, the park stop under the Red Bridge (Červený Most), Železná Studienka and Lesopark. Bus Nr 52 will run each 30 minutes between Vajnory, Rendez, Rača and Potočná Street. (TASR)
  • The Zoo Bratislava will be closed, due to anti-pandemic measures, as of Saturday, February 13, till further notice.
  • Record temperature at Lomnický Štít peak – The temperature at Lomnický Štít peak fell to -28.5 Celsius degrees on Friday, February 12, equalling the record from 2001. But the wind chill temperature was as low as -50 Celsius degrees due to the wind speed of 89 km/h, the Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute (SHMÚ) informed. (TASR)
  • A new report from the European Rights Centre, Blighted Lives, confirms that disproportionate numbers of Roma children are separated from their biological families and end up in state care.
Left behind. The plight of Roma children under state care in Slovakia Read more 

On this day in the history of Slovakia

30th anniversary of the declaration of the Slovak parliament on the expulsion of Slovak Germans

With this declaration the Slovaks, through their MPs, were the first nation in Eastern Europe who publicly condemned the principle of collective guilt that was in place in the country after WWII against members of the German nation living in Slovakia’s territory. More than 32,000 Slovak Germans were deported to both parts of divided Germany.

Do not miss on

Another more infectious strain detected in Slovakia Read more  Remembering Stará tržnica Read more  The 2021 census may bring Bratislava an additional €10-15 mill to the state coffers Read more  Controversial tower in Štrbské Pleso seeing some changes Read more 

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