This is the Friday, May 14, 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, please buy our online subscription. Thank you.
Check out the Spectacular Slovakia roundup for weekend reading tipsRead more
National emergency ends
The national emergency is ending in Slovakia as of Saturday, May 15, Prime Minister Eduard Heger (OĽaNO) announced at a press conference after the cabinet session on Friday, May 14.
“We promised that the national emergency would not last a minute longer than necessary and we have kept that promise,” said Heger, as cited by the TASR newswire, calling on people to remain responsible and comply with anti-pandemic regulations and get vaccinated. “Vaccination is the most useful weapon in the pandemic.”
The lifting of the national emergency also means the end of the ban on assembly and curfew. The emergency situation declared last March is still in place.Read more
New reactor at Mochovce nuclear power plant reaches next milestone
After more than 12 years of construction, the third unit of the Mochovce nuclear power plant is ready for commissioning and fuel loading. On Thursday, May 13, Slovakia’s Nuclear Regulatory Authority (ÚJD) issued a license for commissioning. Its operator, electricity producer Slovenské Elektrárne (SE) responded that it is aiming to load the reactor with nuclear fuel in the autumn of this year.
“Finally, it’s here,” said Economy Minister Richard Sulík, as cited by the TASR newswire.
Sulík hopes that the fourth unit of the nuclear power plant, owned by the Slovak government, Italy’s Enel and the Czech group EPH, will also be put into operation during the current term of parliament, i.e. by 2024.Read more
Bratislava’s city beach returns
Residents and visitors of Bratislava can once again enjoy a seaside atmosphere on the Petržalka bank of the Danube River. The city beach, Tyršák, on the Tyršovo Nábrežie embankment is opening for those looking for active recreation, culture, or the chance to just lounge on the beach on Friday, May 14.
The operation of the beach, as well as all cultural events, will be subject to the valid anti-pandemic regulations. The city beach will be open, free of charge, until September 26.Read more
Feature story for today
Never before has the public defender of rights dealt with as many complaints from the people of Slovakia as in 2020, the year when the novel coronavirus pandemic first broke out.
What remained unchanged is the lack of regard most MPs seem to be paying to the work of Ombudswoman Mária Patakyová. Just like last year, MPs have failed to acknowledge her report.Read more
Gallery for today
A couple of seagulls took advantage of the quiet lockdown period at the Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum. They created a nest on the terrace roof of the gallery, right next to the sidewalk, laying two eggs in the middle of this week. “Since nature has its admirers in Danubiana, we will be happy to allow this bird family to raise their chicks here,” Danubiana has written on FB, while closing the roof to visitors. It assumes it will reopen at the end of June.
Video of today
A herd of wild pigs and their offspring took a stroll through Pezinok, a small town 20 km from Bratislava.
- From Saturday, May 15, the Slovak Caves Administration will open all the 13 caves it operates. Only visitors with a negative antigen test no older than 24 hours, or a negative PCR test no older than 72 hours, will be allowed.
- Former education minister and former mayor of Bratislava Milan Ftáčnik has died at the age of 64, his daughter Lucia Čelovská confirmed for the TASR newswire on Friday.
- The Ružomberok-based paper mill, Mondi SCP, owned by the Mondi Group and Milan Filo’s Eco Investment has launched a new machine costing €370 million as part of the modernisation of the paper mill in central Slovakia. A new production line will produce 300,000 tons of innovative packaging paper every year.
- The Botanical Garden in Tatranská Lomnica in the High Tatras opened its gates to visitors on Friday, May 14. This year, its area is complemented by an insect hotel and new benches. Due to the relatively cold weather, visitors will have the chance to see the tiny draba pyrenaica (petrocallis pyrenaica) a glacial relic, i.e. the descendant of flora from the Ice Age, in bloom.
- Consumption of beer and radler in pubs and restaurants fell by 35 percent last year in Slovakia, analysis of the effects of the pandemic on the brewing sector shows. The analysis was developed and elaborated by the EY consultant company for the Slovak Association of Beer and Malt Producers (SZVPS). Pubs, restaurants and other similar outlets were closed for 19 weeks in 2020.
- A new Slovak record for the number of bird species observed during the Bird Marathon last Saturday, May 8, was set in the region of the lower Zemplín. The winning team, Young Birders Slovakia, identified a total of 160 bird species in 23 hours. On the European scale, Slovakia ranks 11th with 202 observed bird species, according to Tomáš Veselovský from the organisation Raptor Protection of Slovakia.
- After more than two weeks, Volkswagen Slovakia will resume production of SUVs on Monday, May 17, informed the carmaker’s spokesperson Lucia Kovarovič Makayová. The Bratislava plant suspended the production of SUV models on April 29 due to lack of semiconductors.
- The city transport company, Dopravný Podnik Bratislava (DPB) will not resume the operation of the international bus line 801 connecting Bratislava’s Rusovce with Rajka in Hungary. The carrier justifies this by saying that the line was running at a heavy loss and was unsustainable in the long run. It recommends train connections for passengers. The line was halted last autumn due to closed borders.
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14. May 2021 at 17:14 | Jana Liptáková