News digest: Bratislava avoids strictest measures thanks to vaccination rate

The coalition disputes are not over. Police broke up an organised group of smugglers in eastern Slovakia.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

Good evening. Catch up on the main news of the day in less than five minutes with the Thursday, September 23 edition of Today in Slovakia . We wish you a pleasant read.

Coalition tremors continue

The construction of state-funded rental flats, a leading topic of coalition party Sme Rodina's campaign, is back in the spotlight.

The coalition party conditioned their stay in the coalition with this topic and a distrainment amnesty after the party refused to be part of the expert group that aims to return confidence in rule of law in Slovakia.

Boris Kollár, chair of the party, seems to have lost the support of Finance Minister Igor Matovič on this topic. Other coalition partners are also critical.

In addition, he called on coalition partners to swiftly address the plight of the poor, adding that they should deal with the rising electricity, heat, gas and food prices.

MEP delegation left Slovakia “cautiously positive”

Slovakia hosted a delegation from the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) for two days. They arrived in Slovakia to assess respect for the rule of law, as part of their ongoing monitoring of the situation across the EU.

Its chair Sophie In 't Veld said that they are leaving Slovakia “cautiously positive," but they have still heard a lot of things that are very worrying and give reasons for concern.

“We’ve heard about hate speech and the intimidation of journalists. We’ve heard about the intimidation and harassment of people who are fighting corruption among authorities. We still hear about resistance against reforms," she said.

Coronavirus and vaccination news

  • 949 people were newly diagnosed as Covid positive out of 9,925 PCR tests performed on Wednesday. The number of people in hospitals has increased to 442. The vaccination rate is at 44.16 percent; 2,428,855 people have received the first dose of the vaccine. More stats on Covid-19 in Slovakia here.
  • Bratislava reached a 75-percent vaccination rate among people in the 50 and over age group. This means that according to the current rules, the epidemic tier will always be two levels better than it should be according to other factors.
  • The entrance of hospital employees or those working in outpatient departments should be conditioned with whether they are vaccinated against Covid-19 or not, the Health Ministry said. Fully-vaccinated employees and those who have recovered from Covid-19 in the past 180 days do not have to take a Covid test. Unvaccinated and unrecovered employees will have to take tests every 72 hours.
  • As of September 13, the regional public health authorities took a total of 174 samples during wastewater monitoring. The samples were examined by qualitative and quantitative methods. 153 samples (87.93 percent) were positive or marginal values.
  • The government approved a draft amendment to the law extending the possibility of obtaining a mediatory bonus within the vaccination lottery until the end of 2021.

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Photo of the day

A commemorative banknote with a value of zero was made on the occasion of Pope Francis' visit to the Cathedral of St. Elizabeth in Košice.

Feature story for the day

Parking in the capital will soon follow different rules. The Bratislava authorities are wrapping up preparations for the city-wide parking policy. Inhabitants will be required to register.

Parking in Bratislava changes. Required registration opens soon Read more 

In other news

  • The police reported that they broke up the main organised group of smugglers in eastern Slovakia and also detained its boss, Radoslav H., during the "Spider" operation. They also seized radios, photo traps and signal jammers.
  • Hotels and apartment houses in Slovakia were visited by more guests in July than in the first half of this year. Almost 585,000 people visited the accommodation facilities in July, but attendance in that month was almost 18 percent lower than two years ago.
  • More than 200 new shelter roofs will be added to public transport stops in Bratislava next year. They will build them in busy places and spots that have been missing them so far. New markers and showcases with a timetable will also be added.
  • U.S.Steel in Košice is selling its daughter company producing refractory materials to the local construction company Termostav-Mráz. The company will take over RMS Košice with all 370 employees.
  • In August of this year, 6,778 new passenger cars were registered in Slovakia, which is 2.9 percent less year-on-year. Škoda models were the most common passenger car produced (16.5 percent of the total production share), followed by Volkswagen brands with a share of 12.4 percent and Hyundai with a share of 10.25 percent.
  • The sound of the bell from Bojná in the district of Topoľčany was carried in the Vatican. The bell was symbolically cast on the day of Pope Francis' arrival on the territory and during the general audience in the hall of Paul VI. in the Vatican. The mayor of Bojná, Jozef Stankovský, gave it as a token of gratitude to the pope for visiting Slovakia. The bronze replica of one of the oldest Christian bells in Europe is the first exact replica of a bell discovered in Bojná.
  • The operation of the cable car from Kamzík to Železná studnička in Bratislava will be temporarily interrupted due to reconstruction. Renovation work will start on Monday, September 27. It is tentatively scheduled for 40 days.

Do not miss on today

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