News digest: Slovaks mourn deceased singer Žbirka

Parliament did not pass the law “on assistance to pregnant women“. Slovak politicians honoured veterans.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

Good evening. Catch up on the main news of the day in less than five minutes with the Thursday, November 11 edition of Today in Slovakia. We wish you a pleasant read.

Slovak music legend dies

"A sweater, typical glasses and a smile. I always had a feeling that he was not aging at all. We all know the lyrics of his songs by heart. He loved music, the Slovak language, London and the Beatles. Miroslav Žbirka was and will stay a legend."

President Zuzana Čaputová wrote these words on social media in honour of the recently deceased singer Miroslav "Meky" Žbirka. He died on November 10 at age 69.

The son of a Slovak father and an English mother, Žbirka was born in Bratislava in 1952. His music was always reminiscent of the 1960s and the Beatles, his favourite band. He even recorded several songs and one of his last albums, the Double Album (2018), at the Abbey Road studios in London. He had access to foreign music as a young boy thanks to his mother, Ruth Gale.

Žbirka was a performer loved by generations of Slovaks and Czechs. He died of pneumonia, which was not caused by covid.

Coronavirus and vaccination news

  • 6,546 people were newly diagnosed as Covid positive out of 22,967 PCR tests performed on Wednesday. The number of people in hospitals has increased to 2,532 while 38 more deaths were reported on Wednesday. The vaccination rate is at 46.05 percent; 2,532,670 people have received the first dose of the vaccine. More stats on Covid-19 in Slovakia here.
  • MPs voted on the legislation of new anti-pandemic measures in a fast-track proceeding; they approved it in the first reading on Thursday. The new measures would allow employers to require Covid passes at the workplace and would extend the rights of hygienists and police when enforcing them.
  • Monitoring of the viral load in sewerage water shows a steep increase in all regions. 251 samples, or more than 92 percent, were positive or had limited traces of the virus.
  • Despite the growing third wave, only four companies currently vaccinate at their facilities in Slovakia. Company vaccination was launched in June 2021. So far, Košice US Steel, Kysuce-based Schaeffler and Bratislava Volkswagen have participated.

Picture of the day

President Zuzana Čaputová, Speaker of Parliament Boris Kollár, PM Eduard Heger and Defence Minister Jaroslav Naď honoured veterans on Veterans Day by laying wreaths on military cemeteries in Slovakia.

Feature story for today

Hidden amongst family houses in Bratislava’s Prievoz, neglected and overgrown by the pioneer woods, the Csáky aristocratic garden centre awaits its new fate.

Old aristocratic garden centre in Bratislava has a chance to sprout back to life Read more 

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In other news

  • Parliament did not pass the law “on assistance to pregnant women“, which tried to set several limits to their access to safe abortions. 67 out of the 134 MPs voted for it; a majority was needed to pass the law.
  • The injury rate in the Slovak mountains during the summer season decreased compared to last year. Mountain rescuers intervened 478 times between June 1 and October 31, which is a 7-percent drop. Compared to 22 last year, 16 people died this year.
  • The hospital reform was sent to the second reading. Out of the 145 present MPs, 76 voted for it, 68 were against and one MP did not vote.
  • All three men accused of attacking a public official and rioting in the Piešťany supermarket will be prosecuted at large.
  • Economy Minister Richard Sulík (SaS) will not agree to the sale of a 49-percent stock in the energy utility company Stredoslovenská Energetika (SSE) to the Hungarian state-owned company MVM.
  • The Bratislava I District Court cancelled the dates of the hearings with the accused former general prosecutor Dobroslav Trnka, which were to take place at the beginning of December. Originally, the court was to hear several experts at hearings on December 6-8. The date of the main hearing was cancelled due to the court's preference for another criminal case that involves custody.
  • The mayors of Bratislava, Prague, Budapest and Warsaw have called on the UN and European institutions to fight more intensely against climate change. In a letter to world leaders, they ask that they strive towards the ambitious goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. The mayors also write that world leaders need to involve cities and local communities more in the policy-making process and funding.
  • The latest macroeconomic forecast for Slovakia, published by the European Commission on Thursday, indicated that the Slovak economy is recovering from the recession in 2020 and Slovaks can expect a stable economic development with declining budget deficits in the next three years.

Do not miss on today

Recovery likely to continue in 2022 Read more  What it takes for a brand to be loved and lovable Read more  Slovaks’ knowledge of museums is poor, but they know a national museum exists Read more 

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