TODAY IN SLOVAKIA

News digest: Prosecutor calls charges against journalists unlawful and unfounded

Editors-in-chief supported accused journalists before charges were dropped. Poll unveils how an ideal foreigner should look. No vote on changes to the Citizenship Act.

(Source: SME.sk / Hej,ty)

Good evening. The Tuesday, September 21, 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.

Journalists no longer face charges

The Denník N daily's journalists Monika Tódová and Konštantín Čikovský no longer stand accused for revealing confidential information.

Following the order of General Prosecutor Maroš Žilinka for the Bratislava regional prosecutor's office to examine the charges, the prosecutor decided to drop the charges, calling them "unlawful and unfounded, as well as arbitrary," ordering an authorised police officer to act and decide again.

Earlier today, the editors-in-chief of the biggest Slovak dailies and radio stations condemned this attack against journalists.

"We consider these charges another attempt to threaten journalists who have been revealing the missteps of those in power for many years," they wrote in an open letter.


Poll shows Slovaks' attitudes to foreigners

The latest Focus poll for the Milan Šimečka Foundation, conducted between June 28 and July 4, 2021 on a sample of 1,004 respondents, paints a picture of how a perfect foreigner should look to Slovaks.

They do not reject foreigners in principle, with 75.9 percent of them disagreeing that foreigners should never be accepted in Slovak society. Yet, the poll implies that the ideal foreigner looks like a Slovak.

The poll also revealed that Slovak people have different ideas as to what criteria foreigners should meet in order to be at all allowed into the country.

Find out more in the report by Peter Dlhopolec.


Coronavirus and vaccination news

  • 880 people were newly diagnosed as Covid positive out of 10,475 PCR tests performed on Monday. The number of people in hospitals has increased to 438. The vaccination rate is at 44.03 percent; 2,421,940 people have received the first dose of the vaccine. More stats on Covid-19 in Slovakia here.
  • 23 percent of pupils aged 12-17 years (or some 80,000 children) have been vaccinated against Covid. The biggest share of those vaccinated with the first dose is in the districts of Bratislava (52 percent), Senec (47 percent) and Pezinok (42 percent), while the lowest is in Medzilaborce (7 percent), Revúca (8 percent), Rimavská Sobota and Gelnica (each 9 percent).
  • 851 out of almost 53,000 classrooms switched to remote education this week. 1,391 pupils tested positive for Covid-19.
  • Vaccination opponents interfered with the vaccination in the village of Podbiel, Orava region, which required the intervention of police. A similar incident occurred in Martin in early September. (Aktuality.sk)

Travel info

  • Cyprus placed Slovakia on the list of orange countries, i.e. the countries with a higher risk of the infection. The decision comes into force on September 23.
  • People from Slovakia travelling to Switzerland who are not vaccinated against Covid must present a negative test result when entering the country.

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Picture of the day

Straník Hill near Žilina is a popular spot for paragliding and short, undemanding hikes.


Feature story for today

Dušan Kováčik is the first high-ranking official under the Smer-led governments to hear a guilty verdict on corruption charges.

The court sentenced him to 14 years in prison for bribery and cooperation with an organised crime group. Here are the 10 main points of the verdict.

The ten strongest points of the verdict against former special prosecutor Read more 

In other news

  • The prosecutor pressed further charges against convicted former special prosecutor Dušan Kováčik, this time for accepting a €50,000 bribe from controversial businessman Peter Košč, charged with bribing Kováčik and on the run from the police. Košč allegedly wanted the ex-special prosecutor to take two files from then supervising prosecutor Peter Kysel. (Aktuality)
  • Sme Rodina will not leave the coalition for now, said its chair and Speaker of Parliament Boris Kollár. Yet, he outlined several conditions under which the party would consider leaving the coalition, including the scrapping of paragraph number 363 of the Penal Order, which allows for the extraordinary intervention of the general prosecutor, and has been recently used to scrap several charges.
  • Opposition party Smer filed a criminal complaint against Specialised Criminal Court Judge Pamela Záleská, who delivered a verdict in the case involving ex-special prosecutor Dušan Kováčik on Monday.
  • Culture Minister Natália Milanová (OĽaNO) dismissed Stanislav Mičev from the post of director of the SNP Museum in Banská Bystrica, citing several instances of misconduct in relation to the museum's management. Mičev, who has been at the helm since 2006, recently opposed the idea of moving the SNP Museum to the Defence Ministry.
  • President Zuzana Čaputová will make a video speech on the 76th UN General Assembly. She will be the first woman speaker and the first speaker among European leaders.
  • MPs have once again postponed the discussion on the amendment of the State Citizenship Act, this time to the October session.
  • Parliament failed to adopt a resolution expressing support to all minorities and communities living in Slovakia. The proposal, submitted by the MPs from Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) and Freedom and Solidarity (SaS), was supported by only 55 MPs out of 125 present. Those who did not vote for the resolution included MPs from the OĽaNO and Sme Rodina coalition parties.
  • Several buses have blocked the road in front of the Government’s Office in Bratislava, in order to point out the weak assistance of the government towards the private sector. The protest was organised by the Republika party, formed by the renegades of the far-right Kotlebovci - People’s Party Our Slovakia (ĽSNS).


Do not miss in Spectator.sk today

Consumption of medicine decreased in Slovakia during the pandemic Read more 

Five examples of how artificial intelligence is used in retail Read more 

If you have suggestions on how this news overview can be improved, you can reach us at editorial@spectator.sk.

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