News digest: Bratislava castle turns purple in support of Paralympic athletes

Slovakia will mark the anniversary of the August 21, 1968, occupation on Saturday.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

Good evening. Catch up on the main news of the day in less than five minutes with the Friday, August 20 edition of Today in Slovakia. We wish you a pleasant read.

For weekend tips and reads, check out our Spectacular Slovakia roundup. This week, Peter Dlhopolec writes about the divine Rajec Valley, the 'Lazy' farm and campsite, and a Belgian girl's attempt at a world record.

Contemporary visual art does not always have to be admired from a distance. Some pieces enable people to literary immerse themselves in it. This is true for TUBE, an installation in Stará Tržnica in the very centre of Bratislava. From now until August 29, those interested can take off their shoes and climb through a monumental cutworm made from blue nets hanging from the ceiling of the old market hall.

“It was a strange feeling, like crawling through the bowels of a giant animal, but I cannot decide whether I liked it when other visitors made the tube rock,” said Irena Kolesáivá after she exited the tunnel.

Launched in late June, this site-specific climbing frame will hang in Stará Tržnica until August 29.

Picture of the day

Bratislava Castle was illuminated in purple, the international colour of the disabled, on the occasion of the upcoming Paralympic Games in Tokyo on Thursday evening.

Feature story for today

The plastic bottles filled with an unalluring yellowish murky liquid on chairs in front of houses flanking the main road at the foot of the Small Carpathians unmistakably indicate that wine harvest time is here. While some pull their cars to the pavement and buy a bottle of burčiak – slightly fermented grape juice – to drink at home, others prefer to enjoy it at the vinobranie (wine harvest) festivals with a piece of roasted duck and lokša, a potato pancake.

The grape harvest festival season starts in late August in the Bratislava Region and lasts until mid-November. Have a look where and when it is possible to taste burčiak and other regioinal delicacies.

Anniversary of this week

On Saturday, August 21, Slovakia will mark 53 years since Warsaw Pact troops invaded what was then Czechoslovakia.

The invasion of Czechoslovakia by five Warsaw Pact armies (the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, East Germany, Hungary and Poland) took place on the night of August 20/21, 1968. The operation was designed to halt the political reforms of the Czechoslovak Communist Party regime headed by Alexander Dubček. More than 100 Slovaks and Czechs were killed during the invasion, which thwarted the hopes of the Prague Spring reform movement of 1968.

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Coronavirus and vaccination news:

  • The Prešov Self-governing Region (PSK) continues to vaccinate against Covid-19 in shopping malls. On Sunday, August 22, those interested can get vaccinated without registration in Prešov and Poprad. Next week, PSK plans to vaccinate people directly on the street as part of the Viva Italia festival in Poprad.
  • The Self-governing Region of Banská Bystrica (BBSK) is launching mobile vaccination against Covid-19 in 10 of the least-vaccinated municipalities of the region, which includes the districts of Rimavská Sobota, Revúca and Lučenec. In connection with the beginning of the school year, it is also organising vaccinations from September 13 directly in the 60 secondary schools it administers.
  • 84 people were newly diagnosed as Covid positive out of 5,816 PCR tests performed on August 19. The number of people in hospitals has remained unchanged at 72. The vaccination rate is at 42.53 percent; 2,339,231 people have received the first dose of the vaccine. More stats on Covid-19 in Slovakia here.
  • The Finance Ministry has updated statutes of the lottery for the vaccinated when the password will be communicated well in advance prior to the call to the competitor.

    Other news:

  • Bread in Slovakia remains the most expensive within the Visegrad Group countries (Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland). Last year, the price index of cereals and bread was 94.6 in Slovakia, compared with the EU average of 100. Nevertheless, Slovaks have the ninth-cheapest bread and cereal prices in the EU. (Eurostat)
  • The registered unemployment rate in Slovakia decreased by 0.1 percentage point to 7.66 percent in July. (ÚPSVaR)
  • Due to the continued reconstruction of Račianské Mýto square in Bratislava, tram transport on the stretch from the square to Depo Krasňany will be replaced by bus transport during the weekend, August 21-22.
  • P.O. Hviezdoslav Theatre will provide its premises to the Aréna Theatre as of September as The building of the Aréna theatre will undergo a thorough 18-month reconstruction with a price tag of €5.9 million.

    Do not miss today

    The truth about climate change Read more  The Taliban hates educated women, says Afghan-Slovak filmmaker rescued from Kabul Read more  How the middle of nowhere in Slovakia became a family holiday destination for foreigners Read more  Period panties and men’s thongs: exploring Slovak underwear fashion history Read more  Music is a meeting point for the Roma and Slovaks Read more 

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