News digest: Slovakia will mark May Day with closed shops on Saturday

Sputnik contract finally made public; anti-covid measures are easing as of Monday, May 3.

Before the fall of the communist regime in 1989, May Day celebrations were abused to glorify the communist rule as this historical photo shows. Nowadays, most people prefer to devote themselves to leisure activities. (Source: TASR)

This is the Friday, April 30, 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

The oldest Slovak love poem is erotic, humorous and short Read more 

Publishing details of Sputnik contract may cost Slovakia millions of euros

The violation of the contract's secrecy clause is punishable. There is no specification of which authorities are to check on the vaccine, and the Russian side has the right to withdraw from the contract if payments from Slovakia are delayed.

The Health Ministry published the contract for the Russian Sputnik V vaccine on the evening of Thursday, April 29 after weeks of legal disputes.

The contract, signed by former health minister Marek Krajčí (now an OĽaNO MP), is basically in violation of Slovak law, according to experts.

Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský confirmed on Wednesday that he is not going to approve the use of Sputnik V in Slovakia for now.

Publishing details of Sputnik contract was to be fined with millions of euros Read more 

More Covid and vaccination news

  • As of Monday May 3, a negative test when entering shops, schools, work places and others will not be required in the red and light red tier districts during the day, only during the curfew between 21:00 and 1:00. The rules for entering shops, schools, work places and others in the dark red districts will not change and negative tests will be required.

Wind power stations can be erected in Slovakia after 17 year ban

The current political direction of Slovakia and the technical condition of the national grid are reopening opportunities for the development of renewable energy sources in Slovakia. As a consequence, new wind power plants can be built in Slovakia after a 17 year ban, noted the Slovak Association of the Photovoltaic Industry and Renewable Energy Sources (SAPI).

"In 2003, the first wind power plant in Slovakia was put into operation. Despite the fact that it is still working, it has remained a memento of missed opportunities,” said SAPI Director Ján Karaba, as cited in a press release.

Wind power stations can be erected in Slovakia after a 17-year ban Read more 

Covid slashed passenger numbers on public transport in Bratislava by two thirds

The Covid-19 pandemic has hit public transport in Bratislava hard. The number of passengers using public transport has decreased by approximately 60 to 70 percent compared to the pre-pandemic period. This decline is reflected in DPB’s revenues. With the Bratislava city transport company, Dopravný Podnik Bratislava (DPB) losing €2 million each month in revenues, its total lost revenues since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus have climbed to €25 million.

Bratislava Mayor Matúš Vallo said earlier in April that the city council would not allow mass layoffs at DPB or a reduction of routes in Bratislava. The city council, as the sole shareholder of DPB, has promised to settle all its obligations.

Covid slashed passenger numbers on public transport in Bratislava by two thirds Read more 

Feature story of today

The reconstruction of one of the capital’s most prominent historical sites, the Rusovce manor house, was started in the 1980s but it still has not been completed. The latest attempt triggered in 2018 has failed so far to even complete the procurement process for the selection of a construction contractor, even though it was scheduled to hand over the work to a contractor in February 2020.

Now a group of activists and local councillors have set up a petition The petition calls on the Government Office, as administrator of the estate, to push ahead with restoration plans for the manor, pointing out that any further delays will not only lead to it falling further into disrepair, but also mean a higher price in the future for its ultimate reconstruction.

“We walk around the manor house every day and instead of it being the pride of Rusovce, it just continues to fall apart,” said Róbert Kalmár, one of three people behind the petition.

The manor in Rusovce, on the outskirts of Bratislava, was home to the aristocracy for centuries, the last private owner being Habsburg Princess Stéphanie of Belgium, the widow of Crown Prince Rudolf of Habsburg, the son of one of the Habsburg Empire’s most famous figures, Empress Elisabeth - better known as Sisi.

Related articlePetition launched to get Rusovce manor house reconstruction moving Read more 

Gallery of today

Bratislava has launched the extensive monitoring of mosquito hatcheries to enable better administration of the biocide BTI. So far 200 volunteers have joined and the call is still open.

Anniversary

For most Slovaks aged 40 and over, Labour Day is still associated with compulsory attendance at pre-1989 events intended to glorify communist rule. Nowadays, most people prefer to devote themselves to leisure activities, detached from politics even though some politicians still use this day for publicity. May 1 is a public holiday in Slovakia, during which the country marks the anniversary of its accession to the European Union in 2004.

Other news

  • The appellate court in Nitra has reduced the sentence of some of the accused in the case of the brutal attack against a man in front of the Mariatchi bar in Nitra back in October 2013.
  • Shops will be closed on Saturday May 1 and May 8 due to national holidays.
  • The Statistics Office has revised Slovakia's GDP data for 2020, reducing the decline from 5.2 percent to 4.8 percent.
  • The parliament has discussed the programme manifesto of the Eduard Heger cabinet. The final vote is expected on Monday, May 3.
  • Top Slovak political representatives will mark the tragic death of General M. R. Štefánik (July 21, 1880-May 4, 1919) on May 3 at Bradlo hill, near Brezová pod Bradlom in the Trenčín Region, where he is buried.

Do not miss onSpectator.sk today

Art theft sparked friendship between Czech artist and Norwegian thief Read more  Slovakia: Where the bees buzz and the honey flows Read more  The woman who negotiated additional Pfizer vaccines for Slovakia: In the EU, Sputnik is not taboo Read more  The house in Bratislava where time stops Read more 

If you have suggestions as to how this news overview can be improved, you can reach us at editorial@spectator.sk.

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