News digest: Thousands want to see the pope, though he is too liberal for some

General prosecutor fails to explain his actions to MPs. Some universities to start new year with online education.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

Good evening. The Tuesday, September 7, 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.

Preparations for papal visit in full swing

About 72,000 people have so far registered for events open to the wider public during the mid-September visit of Pope Francis. Most want to attend a mass he will serve on the last day of his visit, on September 15 in Šaštín. The country is celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, the patron saint of Slovakia, on the very same day.

Meanwhile, preparations for the event in this western Slovak town is in full swing. Organisers received the information about the changed entrance conditions only about nine days before the event was to take place, and it has impacted the entire process.

Unvaccinated people will be in a separate sector, divided from vaccinated participants. People also have the chance to arrive to Šaštín a night earlier, as the place where the mass is to be held will open on September 14 at 22:00.

However, it seems not all Catholics in Slovakia are seeking to meet the pope. Some do not like his welcoming approach towards migrants, vaccination against Covid and LGBTI+ people. The fact that he is not as conservative as one of his predecessors, John Paul II, results in some people not being very enthusiastic about meeting him in person, some observers opine.

Top prosecutor avoided MPs and said journalists violated Press Code

General Prosecutor Maroš Žilinka failed to appear at today's session of the parliamentary committee for media and culture, where he was supposed to have explained his actions towards some journalists who wanted to attend a press conference held last week.

He said that he was busy, and sent his deputy Jozef Kandera instead, much to the disdain of some committee members. Žilinka is invited to attend another session, scheduled for September 10.

Meanwhile, the general prosecutor responded to an open letter sent by the editors-in-chief of the Slovak dailies Sme and Denník N as well as the website, whose reporters were barred from attending the press conference.

He said, among other things, that he was only providing a declaration, and implied that it was the editors-in-chief who violated the Press Code for stating untrue information.

Coronavirus and vaccination news

  • 306 people were newly diagnosed as Covid positive out of 8,113 PCR tests performed on Monday. The number of people in hospitals has increased by 44 to 156 people. The vaccination rate is at 43.51 percent, 2,392,783 people having received the first dose of the vaccine. More stats on Covid-19 in Slovakia here.
  • The eHealth and My eHealth online services will be down on Tuesday night, between 22:00 and 23:00, while it will be impossible to issue EU green passes as well.
  • For some university students, the new academic year is similar to how it was during the strictest lockdown. Several faculties will teach classes online.

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On this day in history

Today, 10 years have passed since the plane crash in Russia where all players of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl ice hockey team died. One victim was Slovak player Pavol Demitra.

Feature story for today

Robert Barca, 28, who works as a sole fact-checker for the Agence France-Presse (AFP) news agency for Slovakia, which debunks disinformation and hoaxes on Facebook, explained how he fact-checks, why people should report fake news, hoaxes, and disinformation on Facebook, and why Slovakia could use more people doing what he does.

Slovakia’s sole AFP fact-checker: Disinformation peddlers lack originality and creativity Read more 

In other news

  • An unscheduled parliamentary session at which the opposition wants to oust Interior Minister Roman Mikulec (OĽaNO) from his post, will be held on September 9 at 14:00. It was initiated by Smer.
  • Convicted tax fraudster Ladislav Bašternák pleaded guilty in another case, but the verdict is not valid yet. He is currently serving a five-year prison sentence.
  • President Zuzana Čaputová has appointed two new rectors: Ľuboš Cibák of the School of Economics and Management in Public Administration in Bratislava, and Oliver Moravčík of the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava.
  • The mobile operator O2 is continuing to expand the 5G network. In addition to Bratislava, 14 locations around the capital are covered.

Do not miss on today

How artificial intelligence is used in finance Read more 

Knock on Slovakia’s wooden village Read more 

If you have suggestions on how this news overview can be improved, you can reach us at

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