News digest: Coalition is shaky, foreign affairs minister needs reassurance about Slovak foreign policy course

AstraZeneca could be used for older people in Slovakia. Schools will apply stricter measures from next Monday.

Health Minister Krajčí and PM Matovič at Košice airport (Source: TASR)

This is your overview of news from Slovakia on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.
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Za Ľudí will have to make “a fundamental decision”

The landing of the Sputnik V vaccines has shaken the Slovak political scene. Junior coalition parties Za Ľudí and SaS will meet to make “a fundamental decision” and talk about “the responsibility for the pandemic situation".

This comes after Tomáš Valášek, MP of Za Ľudí and chair of the parliamentary European affairs committee, announced his decision to leave the coalition.

Related articlePM welcoming Russian vaccines was inappropriate Read more 

Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Minister Ivan Korčok (SaS nominee) expressed his concerns about the current situation.

“It divides us here at home, it divides us abroad, it questions processes in the EU."

MFA Ivan Korčok on Sputnik V as a tool of hybrid war

He has called the Sputnik V vaccine a tool of hybrid war. He plans to meet with all three highest constitutional representatives to reaffirm Slovakia's foreign policy course.

He did not say whether he would resign.

“For me, it will be decisive what will happen after this moment, which I would call a slip or lapse,” Korčok told media.

Sputnik V is a tool of hybrid war, foreign affairs minister saysRead more 

Foreign media report about Slovakia and Sputnik V

The landing of the first batch of Sputnik V vaccines in Slovakia has been covered by foreign media, both from Russia and the western countries.

It has been one of the main news headlines in the Russian media. The Twitter account of Sputnik V quoted PM Igor Matovič’s words about Russia being "a stable partner".

The Deutsche Welle newspaper wrote that the coalition with its chaotic strategies during the coronavirus pandemic has pushed the country into a healthcare emergency.

“Because of its chaotic health management, the government's reputation has plummeted, the OĽANO movement, in particular, has dropped in the polls, putting a breakup of the coalition within the realm of possibility,” Deutsche Welle wrote.

Russian and European media report on Slovakia's purchase of Sputnik V Read more 

Travel advice:

  • Cyprus put Slovakia on a list of red countries from March 1. Travellers have to take two PCR tests, the first 72 hours before arriving in Cyprus, the other after arriving at the airport.

Coronavirus and vaccination developments:

  • Health Minister Marek Krajčí (OĽaNO) has approved the use of Russian vaccine Sputnik V, with responsibility for the consequences of administering the vaccine being taken by a physician.
  • The AstraZeneca vaccine could also be accessible to people older than 55 years, PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) wrote on Facebook, referring to the good results from practice.
  • Schools will turn to a stricter regime from Monday, March 8, and not from tomorrow. This means that kindergartens and the first four grades of primary schools will be open for all children until next Monday, and after that, only for children of parents working in critical infrastructure.

Interview for today:

The Slovak Spectator talked with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ministry, Martin Klus, about theborder regime, toughening up measures, Sputnik V and summer holidays. Take a look:

Deputy minister: I hope Sputnik producers reconsider their incomprehensible attitude Read more 

In other news:

  • Róbert Mudronček, who served as the warden of Ilava prison, will become a new warden of the Prison and Court Guard Service (ZVJS).
  • The Education Ministry will adjust the draft university law, with the new version discussed with the newly-established contact group. The step follows the protest of several universities, which implied the attempts of the ministry has not been and will not be to politicise universities.
  • A special commission formed to look into the investigation of the death of former Police Corps president Milan Lučanský is in its closing phase, waiting only for the autopsy results. If they do not receive the results, they would make a conclusion nevertheless, Justice Minister Mária Kolíková (Za Ľudí) said.
  • The opening hours of post offices will be temporarily adjusted to an unfavourable pandemic situation, with the branches being opened only until 17:00 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and until 18:00 on Wednesdays. Moreover, they will be closed during the first two weekends of March.

Do not miss at Spectator.sk today:

Retail chains are trying to ensure adequate supply of FFP2 respirators Read more  Walking through Čertova dolina just become easier Read more  Blog: Learning differently, learning effectively Read more 

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