News digest: General Prosecutor's Office premises closed to some journalists

Students and pupils returned to schools. Kitchen of the hospital became coronavirus hotspot. Slovak company to produce components for combat vehicles.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

Good evening. Catch up on the main news of the day in less than five minutes with the Thursday, September 2 edition of Today in Slovakia . We wish you a pleasant read.

GP explained acquittal, not all journalists invited

The General Prosecutor's Office organised a press conference on September 2 to give a statement on the recent acquittal of Vladimír Pčolinský, former head of the Slovak Intelligence Service.

Journalists of several media outlets, including the dailies Sme, Denník N and Aktuality, were not invited to the press conference and after arriving on the premises, they were prevented from joining the press conference.

Žilinka refused the notion that he arranged the acquittal for Pčolinský.

“I am the general prosecutor. I am responsible for observing the legality and protection of laws,” he said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “I was elected with 132 votes from the cross-section of left to right. I am not indebted to anyone; I am not anyone’s vassal.”

He criticised the statements some politicians made after Pčolinský's acquittal, saying that he considers it to be defamation of the office.

The Special Prosecutor’s Office published in a statement today that Vladimír Pčolinský's acquittal raises legitimate doubts. The office wrote that there is a reason to think that General Prosecutor’s Office exceeded its competences in certain points.

“This is absolutely unique, unparalleled in a custody case,” said the prosecutor of the Special Prosecutor’s Office, Peter Kysel, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

Vaccination and coronavirus news

  • 178 people were diagnosed as Covid positive out of 3,468 PCR tests performed on Wednesday. The number of people in hospitals remains unchanged at 97 people. The vaccination rate is at 43.33 percent; 2,383,062 people have received the first dose of the vaccine. More stats on Covid-19 in Slovakia here.
  • Vaccines against Covid are safe and highly effective for the age group between 12 and 18 years of age, said the scientific initiative Science Helps on the occassion of the new school year. The initiative recommends the vaccine to parents.
  • Vaccination against Covid is accessible in outpatient departments across Slovakia. 374 doctors vaccinate in their premises and 463 contracts are concluded in the central register of contracts.
  • Education Minister Branislav Gröhling said that the vaccination rate among school employees is currently 68 percent and in some districts even 70 to 75 percent. More than 400,000 parents asked for rapid tests for self-testing pupils. About 80,000 showed interest in gargling tests.
  • The kitchen in Rožňava hospital is a Covid-19 hotspot; 15 workers have tested positive and more results are expected. All employees are in home quarantine.

Photo of the day

The 2021/2022 school year started on September 2. This is the third school year marked by the pandemic. The Education Ministry promised free and voluntary testing for children and parents are showing a bigger interest than expected.

Feature story for today

The provision of sexual services prevented a robber from running away, the police posted on Facebook back in January of this year, adding emoticons – a bag of money and a broken heart.

The alleged “sexual services” have been viewed in a different light. A court punished the robber in July. The verdict is valid, and the case has been closed.

Woman delayed a robber with oral sex. How did the case end? Read more 

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In other news

  • President Zuzana Čaputová met with her German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Bratislava and discussed rule of law, the situation in Afghanistan, needed reforms in connection with the European Recovery Plan, and common priorities including the fight against climate change.
  • The state will pay a one-time child allowance to children younger than 18 years, said Labour Minister Milan Krajniak. According to his proposal, the child allowance should increase by €74.50 in September, reaching a total of €100 in October.
  • CSM Industry, situated in Tisovec in central Slovakia, will produce components for Lynx KF41 combat vehicles manufactured by the German company Rheinmetall. The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding in late August 2021.
  • The number of home-office job advertisements on the portal has increased thirteenfold in two years, but their share still represents only 2.2 percent. Most offers came from the IT sector and translation services. The portal attributes this trend to the pandemic.
  • The government has approved the creation of another nature reserve - Veľký Bukovec. The reserve will be located in the Snina district in the cadastral territory of the municipalities of Nová Sedlica, Runina, Ruský potok, Ruské, Topoľa, Uličské Krivé and Zboj. Its total area will reach almost 974 hectares.
  • The Slovak representative in para-athletics, Marián Kuřeja, won bronze in the club throw on Wednesday at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo. On his fifth attempt, he achieved a throw of 30.66 m, defending his third place title from Rio de Janeiro.

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