News digest: Hungary changes plans for land purchases, following Slovakia's pressure

Another sentence in forged promissory notes case. Prešov bypass will open by the end of October. Ruling coalition agree on budget.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

Good evening. The Tuesday, October 12, 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.

Hungarian government will not purchase lands in Slovakia

Hungary has abandoned its plan to create a fund to support the purchase of agricultural lands in its neighbouring countries.

Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán announced the decision to his Slovak counterpart Eduard Heger (OĽaNO) only a day after they discussed the topic, and Heger "openly communicated" Slovak objections to the law.

A week earlier, Slovak Foreign Affairs Minister Ivan Korčok (SaS nominee) also broached the topic during the visit of his Hungarian counterpart Péter Szijjártó to Bratislava. The two discussed several other topics involving Hungarian activities in Slovakia.

“I think this really confirms the need for mutual consultation and intensive dialogue on everything we do in our relations between the two countries,” Korčok added.

Another person sentenced for forged promissory notes

The senate of the Specialised Criminal Court sentenced Štefan Ágh to 13 years in prison in a minimum-security prison in the forged promissory notes case related to private broadcaster TV Markíza.

The court found him guilty of the particularly serious crime of counterfeiting, altering and misappropriating money and securities by complicity. The verdict can be appealed within the statutory time limit.

Ágh was also fined €5,000. If it is not paid, the court could sentence him to an additional five months in prison.

He is already the third person to hear a guilty verdict in this case. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court confirmed a 19-year prison sentence for Marian Kočner and Pavol Rusko.

Coronavirus and vaccination news

  • 1,509 people were newly diagnosed as Covid positive out of 11,872 PCR tests performed on October 11. The number of people in hospitals has increased to 858. 17 more deaths were reported on Monday. The vaccination rate is at 44.93 percent; 2,471,274 people have received the first dose of the vaccine. More stats on Covid-19 in Slovakia here.
  • Next week the Stará Ľubovňa district may switch to the black tier of the country's alert system, known as the Covid automat, given the deteriorating situation. The number of people who tested positive for Covid-19 has been growing since early September, said regional hygienist Mária Mancalová, adding that the highest numbers are being reported by the villages of Kamienka, Veľký Lipník, Kolačkov, Haligovce and Litmanová.
  • The Health Ministry is launching the e-Lôžko app to make communication between the Operational Center of the Emergency Medical Service and hospitals more effective and to quickly find the nearest hospital with a free bed for Covid patients during transport. The app should primarily monitor the availability of beds with artificial lung ventilation.

Picture of the day

Nobel laureate in physics Kip Thorne has arrived in Slovakia. He will hold lectures in Bratislava on October 12 and 13, and participate in the ESET Science Award gala evening. He is chairing the international jury deciding on the awards.

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Feature story for today

Slovakia and Czechia may become closer allies in the Visegrad Group and lead an attempt to depoliticise cooperation with Hungary and Poland.

Non-populist forces win in Czechia, but populism in Central Europe alive and well Read more 

In other news

  • The ruling coalition agreed on the draft state budget for 2022. The organisations belonging to the tripartite should discuss the proposal on October 13, while the cabinet will make a decision at its October 14 session.
  • Bratislava-based carmaker Volkswagen Slovakia will limit the production of its SUV vehicles this week, due to the lack of semiconductors. The production of small vehicles will continue without any restrictions.
  • The almost 8-kilometre-long western bypass of Prešov, part of the cross-country D1 highway, will open on October 28. The National Highway Company added that the more than 2-kilometre-long twin-tube Prešov tunnel, part of the western bypass, is safe after inspection and testing.
  • The project of the biggest industrial park in Slovakia, being prepared by the Economy Ministry and situated near the villages of Haniska and Valaliky near Košice, is financially non-repayable, according to the Value for Money Unit running under the Finance Ministry.
  • The inspection classified the massive death of fish and crayfish on the Danube in August as a preliminary violation of the Nature Conservation Act. If confirmed, the environmental inspection can fine the state-run Vodohospodárska Výstavba company up to €9,900.
  • Slovak football players will not play at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. They definitively lost their chance after their qualifier match against Croatia ended in a tie of 2:2.

Do not miss on today

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Group around Nitra-based businessman Bödör screened opposition politicians under Smer gov’t Read more 

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

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