Good evening. The Monday, September 6, 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.
Ex-top prosecutor stands trial
For the first time ever, Slovakia’s former general prosecutor is standing trial.
The proceeding with Dobroslav Trnka started at the Bratislava I District Court on September 6. He is accused of abusing the authority of a public official for hiding the recording of the Gorilla file, leaked in 2011 and describing potential corruption practices between politicians and businesses, in his safe. If the judge finds him guilty, Trnka may spend two to 10 years in prison, or even more.
According to the charges, he received the recording from mobster Marian Kočner, who is currently serving a prison sentence for forging promissory notes case and facing charges in several other cases, including the murder of investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová.
Trnka has rejected a plea bargain, and claimed he is innocent.
The trial is set to take place tomorrow, then on September 13 and 14.
Deputy general prosecutor stops another investigation
The General Prosecutor’s Office decided to stop the second investigation in less than a week, applying paragraph 363 of the Penal Order, which allows for the extraordinary intervention of the general prosecutor.
First, the deputy of the General Prosecutor, Jozef Kandera, acquitted former SIS director Vladimír Pčolinský of corruption-related charges.
This time, he has stopped the investigation launched by the National Criminal Agency (NAKA) that concerned the manipulations of witnesses.
According to the information of the Sme daily, NAKA had hints that people with links to the Slovak Information Service (SIS) intelligence agency had contacted the Interior Ministry’s inspection service, asking them to manipulate the cooperating defendants in order to bring false accusations against the members of the Očistec (Purgatory) team, which had launched investigations in several corruption cases lately.
Kandera cited paragraph 363 again, questioning the basis of the investigation and saying that there is no concrete evidence.
The Police Corps Presidium did not want to comment.
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Coronavirus and vaccination news
- 101 people were newly diagnosed as Covid positive out of 13,726 PCR tests performed on September 5. The number of people in hospitals has increased to 112 people. The vaccination rate is at 43.46 percent, 2,390,168 people have received the first dose of the vaccine. More stats on Covid-19 in Slovakia here.
- Altogether 23 districts are in the orange tier as of today, up from last week’s 14. This means that they need to follow stricter measures, which for example introduce some entry limitations for regimes enabling all people and people with a confirmation of negative test/recovery from Covid/vaccination.
- The conditions for events for the public attended by Pope Francis during his mid-September visit to Slovakia have changed. They are now open also to people who have not been vaccinated, but have a negative Covid test result or recovered from the disease, while everybody needs to register at www.navstevapapeza.sk.
Picture of the day
Slovakia wrapped up the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games with a gold medal in para-shooting, won by the most successful Paralympic athlete, Veronika Vadovičová. The country collected 11 medals in total.
Feature story for today
It is not enough to create good strategies; it is more important to stick to them and pursue long-term visions to ensure Slovakia remains competitive in the changing world, says Ronald Blaško, executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham). In his view, a consensus is needed between the coalition and the opposition to make sure reforms do not change after each election.
Read more in our interview, which touches on topics like Slovakia's Recovery and Resilience Plan, the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and what Slovakia should do to attract new investments.
In other news
- PM Eduard Heger (OĽaNO) will allocate €300,000 from his reserve for the Teach for Slovakia project, which trains non-teachers to teach in various communities with the aim of improving the education sector and help children to succeed.
- The bells in Catholic churches across Slovakia will ring on Sunday, September 12 at 12:00 to invite adherents to pray for Pope Francis, who will arrive for his official visit to the country later that day.
- The average nominal monthly wage of an employee in Slovakia amounted to €1,202 in the second quarter of 2021, up by 10.5 percent annually. It was the most rapid growth since the last quarter of 2004, according to the Statistics Office.
- 849 people went bankrupt in August 2021, up by more than one quarter compared to the year before. It has been the second highest number of personal bankruptcies in Slovakia this year, shows an analysis of CRIF – Slovak Credit Bureau.
- Several areas in central and northern Slovakia may experience a very chilly night today and tomorrow morning, with temperatures falling to -1 to -4 degrees Celsius.
Also on Spectator.sk today:
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6. Sep 2021 at 19:24 | Radka Minarechová