News digest: Slovakia will close border with Austria, symbolically

Bratislava holds its Beaujolais nouveau wine festival. More than 500 pairs of old glasses are to be sent to Africa. Finance Minister Igor Matovič will start introducing tax reform on Sunday.

(Source: SME.sk / Hej,ty)

Good afternoon. The weekend is coming and we have prepared a quick summary of the main news of the day in our Friday, November 12, 2021 edition of Today in Slovakia. We wish you a pleasant read.


For weekend tips and reads, check out our Spectacular Slovakia weekly roundup. This week, Peter Dlhopolec is writing about a foreign film being shot in Bratislava, the late singer Miroslav Žbirka, and Slovakia's polluted rivers.


Slovakia will for the sixth time symbolically close its border with Austria. The closure will be part of the Weekend of Closed Borders, from November 12 to 14, commemorating the victims of the Iron Curtain and the communist regime in former Czechoslovakia.

“We want to recall the totalitarian atmosphere at the borders and remember the victims of the Iron Curtain, whose path to freedom cost the most - human life,” said Juraj Droba, head of the Bratislava Self-governing Region (BSK) as cited in the press release. “We will use the uniqueness of the former state border between Slovakia and Austria for activities that will bring information to the general public about the Iron Curtain, which was not only the dividing line of two cultures — East and West — but also a physical obstacle to freedom.”

The Closed Borders Weekend programme will take place at several places in Bratislava.


Photo of today


Feature story for today

"He comes and goes. But what remains after him? At least one souvenir." With a photo, Austrian Lois Lammerhuber answers a question that hangs quietly in the air in every country after a papal visit.

In the photo, a young man finishes eating rice from a plate with a portrait of Pope John Paul II. It comes from Lammerhuber's Latin American trilogy, which is the result of his fifteen-month stay in the countries of South America. In the first part, he mapped the visit of Pope John Paul II in the Dominican Republic, when his face was everywhere, on balloons, forks, and buttons.

The collective exhibition Viva Latina!, which is one of the top displays during this year's Month of Photography, also lets people explore other forms and problems of Latin America through photography.

Pope on a plate and communist cars. What is the Month of Photography about this year? Read more 

Anniversary of the day

Slovak opera diva Lucia Popp (November 12, 1939 –November 16, 1993) was the first Slovak singer who, through her art, excelled in La Scala in Milan and Covent Garden in London. Slovakia marks the 82nd anniversary of her birthday.


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Coronavirus and vaccination news

  • 6,843 people were newly diagnosed as Covid positive out of 23,203 PCR tests performed on November 11. The number of people in hospitals has increased to 2,594. On Thursday, November 11, 41 more deaths were reported. The vaccination rate is at 46.11 percent; 2,535,967 people have received the first dose of the vaccine. More stats on Covid-19 in Slovakia here.
  • The State Institute for Drug Control (ŠÚKL) has registered seven cases in which a death has been linked to vaccination against Covid-19 as of November 11. In four cases, the relation was determined as possible (after the administration of the vaccines by Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca) and in three cases (after the administration of vaccines by AstraZeneca) as probable.
  • The third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine has been administered to 162,879 people in Slovakia as of Wednesday, November 10. (ŠÚKL).
  • Citizens of Ukraine have been temporarily restricted from entering Slovakia since November 10. The ban does not apply to people vaccinated with vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency or the World Health Organization or to Ukrainians residing in Slovakia, the Presidium of the Police Force told the TASR newswire.

Other news

  • Finance Minister and leader of the ruling OĽaNO party Igor Matovič will start introducing the long-promised reform of taxes and levies on Sunday, November 14. As it is so long, he will introduce it over the course of three days. The first part of the reform will be about family, the second labour taxation and the third the taxation of businesses.
  • The Festival of Young Wines inspired by the tradition of French Beaujolais nouveau will take place in Bratislava on Friday, November 12 and Saturday, November 13. In addition to young and vintage wines, visitors can look forward to a music programme and traditional delicacies.
  • The decommissioning of the two units of the V1 nuclear power plant will be extended by two years due to the demanding process. This means that the Nuclear and Decommissioning Company (JAVYS) will liquidate the nuclear units in Jaslovské Bohunice by the end of 2027.
  • Bratislava's Dúbravka borough collected over the course of five months more than 500 pieces of old glasses from various places in Slovakia. Now, they will be transported to a collection center in Italy to be cleaned and measured. They will then be distributed in third-world countries, especially in Africa, to people who need glasses but cannot afford them.
  • The European electronic toll service will start in Slovakia in 2023. The state will not extend the contract for the toll system operation with the company SkyToll when it expires at the end of 2022.
  • Inflation accelerated in Slovakia to 5.1 percent in October. This is the highest level since October 2008, the Statistics Office reported.
  • As of Monday, November 14, Arriva will replace Slovak Lines as the suburban carrier of the Bratislava Region.

Do not miss on Spectator.sk today

Old aristocratic garden centre in Bratislava has a chance to sprout back to life Read more  Legendary Slovak singer dubbed "the fifth member of the Beatles" dies Read more  What it takes for a brand to be loved and lovable Read more  The beauty of Lady Midday: Poludnica mountain Read more  Only one option for people who want to travel from Bratislava to Košice in under five hours by train 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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