News digest: Germany offers help with covid patients, former GP banned from entering the US

In the second wave of the pandemic, Slovakia is the only country in Europe where entire Roma communities continue to be quarantined, ombudswoman claims. Romanian healthcare workers arrive in Slovakia.

Covid-19 department in Bratislava (Source: TASR)

This is your overview of news from Slovakia on Thursday, February 25, 2021. 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. Thank you for being our reader.

State Citizenship Act to see changes, some MPs protest

People who have lost their citizenship after accepting the citizenship of another country since 2010, will have the chance to regain their Slovak passport.

This is the main change introduced by the amendment to the State Citizenship Act, which cabinet ministers approved and sent on to parliament on February 24.

The amendment has to be approved by parliament to be valid. Non-parliamentary party Most-Híd has already issued a statement where it calls on MPs not to support the legislation.

"The proposed changes are nothing more than plaster for some wounds caused by the law introduced in 2010, but they do not solve the basic problem,” Most-Híd Chairman László Sólymos said, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

Rules for granting Slovak state citizenship receives green light from ministers Read more 

Ex-general prosecutor not welcomed in the US

The U.S Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, announced that Dobroslav Trnka is ineligible to enter the United States due to his involvement in significant corruption. This designation is made under the Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Act.

This also applies to Trnka's son, Jakub, rendering both the former prosecutor and his son ineligible for entry into the United States.

Former general prosecutor banned from entering the USRead more 

Gallery of the day:

Ski resorts in Slovakia are still closed due to Covid measures and resort operators cannot turn on ski-lifts, so those wanting to ski must make their way uphill on their own.

The Jahodná resort near Košice has found a way to circumvent these measures. Instead of a ski-lift, a Snowcat pulls skiers up the hill on a specially adjusted rope, the regional daily Korzár reports.

Feature story for today:

On the day the National Criminal Agency (NAKA) arrested Tibor Gašpar, the former Police Corps president, along with a number of other former police officials as part of Operation Purgatory, Gašpar knew that he was going to be arrested.

A recently published document from the Specialised Criminal Court said, among other things, that the former Police Corps president was expecting the NAKA officers and even had his things packed. It also states that he had been warned about the looming arrest by former interior minister Robert Kaliňák.

Former police chief has been warned about his arrest in advance. Court points finger at Kaliňák Read more 

Other news:

  • The Supreme Court has annulled the resolution of the Specialized Criminal Court from February 11 to release the accused former head of the State Material Reserves Administration (SSHR SR) Kajetán Kičura from custody.
  • In the second wave of the pandemic, Slovakia is the only country in Europe where entire Roma communities continue to be quarantined. Ombudswoman Mária Patakyová pointed to the findings of the European Union Agency (EU) for Fundamental Human Rights. Spokesperson Dáša Račková reacted by saying that regional public health offices do not approach the closure of communities automatically, but after careful consideration of local conditions and the customs of the population.
  • Prime Minister Igor Matovič has received an offer from Chancellor Angela Merkel to transport patients to Germany. He made the announcement on a social network.
  • The seasonally adjusted economic sentiment indicator fell by 2.9 points to 77.7 points in February. According to the Statistics Office, it posted the worst figure since June last year and remains far below the levels before the coronavirus crisis.
  • Junior coalition parties SaS and Za Ľudí proposed a package of measures to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus at a meeting of coalition parties last week but they were not included in the programme of the government.
  • The removal of biodegradable waste from brown bins starts in Bratislava on Monday, March 1.
  • Romanian healthcare workers have already arrived in Slovakia thanks to whom, nine new intensive care beds are available. They will stay for 21 days.
  • The National Highway Company (NDS) has signed a contract for the construction of a section of the R3 Tvrdošín Nižná motorway. The price for the implementation of the four-kilometre Tvrdošín bypass is more than 62 million euros and will be financed from the state budget. The construction will take about two and a half years. The contract was signed by a consortium of Hochtief SK, Porr and Hydroekol Dolný Kubín.

Do not miss on today:

Bach's ancestors made pastries in Bratislava Read more  Tourism industry drops to levels from 20 years ago Read more  Sputnik vaccine orbits Slovak politics Read more 

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