News digest: Ukrainians respond to misplaced joke by Matovič by spray-painting slogans on Slovakia's consulate

Slovakia will mark the first confirmed Covid-19 case on Saturday, March 6.

President Zuzana Čaputová paid tribute to the victims of Covid-19 on March 5 evening. (Source: TASR)

This is the Friday, March 5, 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

Slovak Billie Eilish comes from Čadca Read more 

Hungary should not interfere in Slovakia’s domestic affairs, the MFA says

Ivan Korčok commented on the recent visit of the Hungarian foreign affairs minister who wants to discuss changes in granting Slovak citizenship.

“We want to have good neighbourly relations with Hungary, but I will not allow interference in our internal affairs,” Slovak Foreign Affairs Minister Ivan Korčok (SaS nominee) said.

He was responding to the recent request of his Hungarian counterpart Péter Szijjártó to discuss the draft amendment to the State Citizenship Act. Korčok refused to enter into negotiations, claiming it is a sovereign Slovak matter.

Hungary should not interfere in Slovakia’s domestic affairs, the MFA says Read more 

Ukrainians responded to misplaced joke by Matovič

A sprayed text “We are exchanging Slovakia for Crimea” appeared on the building of Slovakia’s Honorary Consulate in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Thursday. Locals were responding to a misplaced joke made by Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovič (OĽaNO). When he was asked on Radio Expres earlier this week what he had promised Russia in return for the procurement of the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, he replied: “Zakarpatska Oblast.” (sq.com.ua)

Public transport schedule changes upon night curfew in Bratislava

The Bratislava public transport company DPB will adjust the tram line schedules to the night curfew between 20:00 and 1:00, as of Monday, March 8. Trams will run at doubled intervals, i.e. every 15 minutes, after 20:00. This change will also affect the Nr 95 bus that is linked to tram Nr 3. DPB will also not resume operation of tram, bus and trolleybus lines interrupted during the spring holidays in the capital, i.e. 7, 94, 191, 192, 196 a 208.

More red-and-white containers for small electronic waste in Bratislava

The Borough of Ružinov is joining the other boroughs of Bratislava and is installing red-and-white containers for small electronic waste on its territory. To start, there will be six containers belonging to the the Asekol SK company and the borough believes that they will avoid the problems that other boroughs have encountered.

More red-and-white containers for small electronic waste in Bratislava Read more 

TASR news wire adds photos taken by drone to its merchandise

The News Agency of the Slovak Republic (TASR) is expanding its range of products for customers and the public with photographs and videos taken using a drone. During a trial run, it has published photos of the construction of the new intersection of the D1 and D4 highway, Ivanka - Sever, in Bratislava.

Júlia Hanuliaková: From campaigner against animal captivity to zoo director

As a teenager, Júlia Hanuliaková, now 45, campaigned for animal rights and was against zoos. Keeping animals in captivity was wrong, she believed.

But as she grew older, she had a change of heart, coming to view zoos as not only places where people can see exotic animals in real life, but also scientific organisations contributing to the better knowledge and conservation of nature.

Now this award-winning zoo designer has returned to her native Bratislava to transform the Slovak capital’s zoo.

Júlia Hanuliaková: From campaigner against animal captivity to zoo director Read more 

Picture of the day:

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) picked a photo by Slovak, Robert Barsa, as its March 4 Astronomy Picture of the Day. The surface of this planet looks a little like Mars. It's really planet Earth though, reads the explanation.

Feature story for today:

Slovakia will mark the confirmation of the first case of coronavirus in the country on Saturday, March 6. The first official case in Slovakia was a 52-year-old man from the village of Kostolište in western Slovakia.

The Slovak Spectator presents a time line of the coronavirus pandemic in Slovakia.

From the world's best to the worst. The pandemic year in Slovakia Read more 

Other news:

  • The Slovak economy contracted by 5.2 percent in 2020, the Statistics Office confirmed its flash estimate from mid February.

  • The unemployment rate decreased by 0.9 percentage points to 6.7 in 2020. It reached 7 percent during the final quarter of 2020 when the number of job seekers amounted to 189,800. The employment rate decreased by 2 percentage points or 52,300 people last year (the Statistics Office).The average nominal monthly wage has continued to increase in the Slovak economy, in spite of the coronavirus crisis last year. It grew 3.8 percent or €41 to €1,133 (the Statistics Office).

  • The Labour Ministry paid out a total of €1.1 billion in coronavirus support schemes First Aid, First Aid + and First Aid ++ to keep employment until March 4, 2021. (TASR)
  • General Prosecutor Maroš Žilinka has found shortcomings in the procedure of the supervising prosecutor of the Special Office Prosecutor’s Office in the criminal case of František Bӧhm, who committed suicide with his own weapon. Žilinka specified that the prosecutor has not exercised his legal rights in the relationship to the finding that the accused was the legal holder of several firearms.
  • Businessman Zoroslav Kollár, who appeared on the mafia lists has been released from custody. He was detained during Operation Gale which focused on the corruption in Bratislava-based courts in October 2020.

Do not miss on Spectator.sk today:

Matovič should bear in mind that Orbán courts Slovakia's Hungarians Read more  Unique hydrogen technologies developed in Slovakia will be presented at EXPO in Dubai Read more  New archeological artefacts discovered near Nemšová Read more 

Environment Ministry wants constitutional ban on incineration of foreign radioactive waste Read more  Bach's ancestors made pastries in Bratislava Read more 
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