This is the Friday, February 19, 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.
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Purchase of Sputnik V vetoed but Slovakia may buy it anyway
PM Igor Matovič's cabinet has turned down a proposal to purchase the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, despite the plans of the prime minister and the health minister.
The junior coalition party, Za Ľudí, chaired by Veronika Remišová, vetoed the proposal to buy and deploy the vaccine that does not have approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on February 18.
PM Igor Matovič and Health Minister Marek Krajčí claim that if the purchase had not been vetoed, the first supply of 160,000 Sputnik doses could have arrived in Slovakia by the end of February. Matovič said at the press conference on February 19 that he personally had negotiated with the Russian economy minister and called it “a small miracle”.
Poprad airport wants to join Tatras with Prague but also the Benelux countries
Poprad–Tatry airport, one of the smallest international airports in Slovakia, has ambitions to connect the gate to the High Tatra mountains with the world. It is not only negotiating the resumption of routes halted by the Covid-19 pandemic but also some new ones. It would like to see airplanes flying from the city of Poprad to Bratislava, Prague, Germany, Greece and Croatia.
“We are not only interested in charter flights, but also in flights throughout the season,” Peter Dujava, director of the airport told the SITA newswire.
Legendary Umelka gallery will get new pavilion and podium
The brick-pattern Umelka gallery at the edge of the very centre of Bratislava is not only a milestone in Slovakia’s architecture, but also a witness of turning points in the country’s history. It saw a man baring his chest in the front of a tank during the invasion of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact troops immortalised by photographer Ladislav Bielik, while artists and other activists launched the Public Against Violence (VPN), the crucial movement behind the fall of the previous totalitarian regime in Slovakia here. Now it is gearing up for an extension and modernisation.
“The iconic cultural venue Umelka has an ambition to enter its next centenary of uninterrupted services to the public in a better form,” reads the press release by its owner and operator the Slovak Union of Visual Arts (SVÚ).
Picture of the day:
Bratislava wants to buy a former night club in Sad Janka Kráľa park
Bratislava city council plans to obtain a dilapidated building that used to house a night club in Sad Janka Kráľa park. This is the last building in the territory of the park, which is not under its administration.
Feature story for today
After 10 years, Slovakia is holding its regular census. The 2021 census kicked off in mid-February. For the first time, the forms are available online. That means that most people do not have to fill in paper forms but will answer the census questions in an online questionnaire.
The Slovak Spectator has summed up answers to all questions related to the census.
In other news
- The British variant of the coronavirus was confirmed in approximately 72 percent of a total of 2,384 positive samples, said chief hygienist Ján Mikas when delivering the results of the second round of the nationwide survey of the occurrence of the British variant B.1.1.7. (SITA)
Prosecutor Vladimír Turan wants to present new evidence in the case of the murder of journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová. This is related to communications between Alena Zsusová and her daughter, previously unpublished videos from the monitoring of journalists, flash cards from the house of Marian K. and also about the record of Alena Zsusová’s heartbeat the day after the murder, the daily Sme informed.
Last year’s record fine of €160,000 handed down by the Environmental Inspectorate (SIŽP) went the CHRENeko for the illicit treatment of hazardous substances. This case concerns a large fire in a chemical storage facility on the premises of the former TAZ company in Trnava from September 2019. (TASR)
The Slovak Environment Ministry considers the project of the Danube-Oder-Elbe water corridor as problematic. While its route has not been charted yet, it would represent a dramatic interference to water systems. It also cannot be considered as an adaptation solution to climate change. At this point, its economic benefit is questionable. (SITA)
9,000 doses of the drug Ivermectin used in Slovakia for the treatment of the Covid-19 disease are due to arrive in Slovakia on Friday. Part will be distributed to hospital pharmacies and part to public pharmacies. The medicine can only be obtained with a prescription. (SITA)
The Košice-based Slovak Training Academy (STA) is registering a high interest in courses for helicopter pilots in spite of the coronavirus crisis. The academy estimated that the aviation industry lacks 30,000 pilots of helicopters and other aircraft. (TASR)
The Economy Ministry supported 30 innovation projects via 30 innovation vouchers worth €10,000 each last year.
The opening hours of the Documents and Records offices of the police will be extended by two hours as of Monday, February 22. This means that people, who want to get a new ID card or register a new car can do this between 8:00 and 14:00.
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19. Feb 2021 at 18:54 | Compiled by Spectator staff