News digest: Central bank calling vaccination pace more important than that of GDP growth

Police announced strict border checks for tomorrow. Ministry analysts revised their GDP growth prognosis. Employees of U.S. Steel in Košice threaten a strike.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

Good evening. The Tuesday, June 22, 2021 edition of Today in Slovakia is ready with the main news of the day in less than five minutes. We wish you a pleasant read.

Prognosis revised up, vaccination important

Analysts of the Institute for Financial Policy (IFP), running under the Finance Ministry, revised their macroeconomic GDP growth prognosis for this year, increasing their original prediction from 3.3 percent to 4.6 percent.

On the other hand, the economy is expected to rise by 5 percent in 2022, down by 1.3 percentage points compared to the previous forecast.

Meanwhile, the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS), the country's central bank, estimates that GDP will reach its pre-crisis level by the end of this year, with decent growth afterwards. In 2023, the Slovak economy should even be at the levels it could have reached if the pandemic had not broken out.

NBS Governor Peter Kažimír underlined that not the pace of economic growth, but that of vaccination is now the most important. The vaccination does not only save lives, but also maintains chances for economic growth and a decent labour market. Possible failure in this field would put great pressure on health care, which would then have consequences on the development of the economy, he added.

U.S. Steel declares strike alert

The trade unions of the U.S. Steel Košice company declared a strike alert on Tuesday, due to the lack of an agreement on an amendment to the current valid collective agreement.

One of the disputed topics includes the prolongation of weekly working hours, proposed by the company. Currently, employees work 35.5 hours a week, which trade unions want to keep. Other discussed proposals include the growth of tariff salary for this year and other benefits.

The negotiations will now continue with the help of a mediator.

The management of the steelworks said on Tuesday that they agreed with the demand of the trade unions to involve the mediator.

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Coronavirus and vaccination news

  • 59 of 6,071 PCR tests carried out on June 21 came back positive, and of 37,584 antigen tests, 46 were positive. Six more people have died of Covid, increasing the total number to 12,502.
  • 1,327 people who have come from Hungary to Slovakia since June 15 have submitted the e-Hranica form, and are being gradually tested with PCR tests, the Health Ministry said. Only one has been positive so far. The ministry asked Slovak fans in particular who attended the EURO football match between Hungary and Portugal held in Budapest to register and get tested due to fears of the spread of the Delta variant.
  • Spain does not consider Slovakia a state with a high risk of infection anymore. The list of countries is updated every seven days, which is why the Foreign Affairs Ministry recommends checking the updates. Learn more here.
  • The members of the Foreign and Border Police will intensively enforce quarantine rules at the Čunovo-Rajka border crossing on June 23.

Picture of the day

The Biela Noc (White Night) Festival opened a spatial installation entitled TUBE by the Numen/For Use artists in the Old Market Hall in Bratislava. The installation will be on display until the end of August.

Feature story for today

While logistics real estate used to be less attractive compared to the office or retail sectors, the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns accompanied by a surge of online shopping has increased demand for logistics real estate. As a consequence, industrial and logistics properties were the least affected by the pandemic, and the most attractive for investors.

Once an ugly duckling, the pandemic has the turned logistics real estate sector into a desirable investment opportunity Read more 

In other news

  • Ján Herák has left the parliament. He gave up his mandate after suspicions of sexual abuse emerged.
  • The Košice Regional Court sentenced three brothers of the Paška family due to a November 2015 street fight. All three were found guilty of causing a disturbance, and two of injury to health in addition, with the court confirming a conditional two-year punishment for Branislav Paška. Maroš Paška’s punishment was increased to nine months conditionally and Martin Paška’s punishment was increased to three months conditionally.
  • Košice airport will launch charter flight to Zadar in Croatia on July 3. The Air Explore airlines will dispatch planes every Saturday until September 4.
  • The PWE Energy company is building a geothermal power plant near Prešov. The first phase of the project, submitted for the environmental impacts assessment, could cost €54 million. A Similar project is getting ready in a locality near Žiar nad Hronom.
  • Flixbus is restoring buses between Prešov and Munich on June 24. The company will dispatch them four times a week, with stops in Slovakia being in Košice, Rožňava, Rimavská Sobota, Lučenec, Zvolen, Nitra and Bratislava.

Do not miss on today

Nine centimetres of water evaporated in Slovakia within 18 years Read more 

Hydrogen-powered cars will be able to refuel in Slovakia this autumn Read more 

An excellent opportunity to experience 12th to 19th-century central Europe Read more 

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