News digest: 20 unoccupied beds with lung ventilators remaining

New flight connection between Bratislava and Lviv to be launched. More than a thousand people protested in Bratislava against amendment of university law.

(Source: SME.sk / Hej,ty)

Good evening. The Tuesday, November 16 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.

Matovič proposes change to income tax for legal persons

Finance Minister Igor Matovič continued the third day of presenting his tax-levy reform measures.

Some of his proposals include income tax for businesses in a decrease from the current 21 percent to 19 percent. Entrepreneurs also should have a flexible property write-off for productive investment.

He plans to find additional finance, for example, via increased taxes for banks, oligopoly and monopolies or taxes from dividends.

Savings for entrepreneurs from the decrease of the income tax for legal persons could be €273 million per year.


Situation in hospitals critical

The situation in hospitals in connection to the Covid pandemic is very serious. Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský has already issued an order to restrict the number of planned surgeries. More than 2,800 Covid patients are currently in hospital.

According to the minister, the most critical situation lies in areas with the lowest vaccination rates. The Health Ministry has already asked for assistance from specialised institutes. The involvement of medical facilities not falling under the remit of the Health Ministry is also planned.

Currently, only 20 beds are available throughout Slovakia for new patients with Covid-19 who need lung ventilation. Approximately 600 beds are available for new patients who do not require oxygen therapy, said Zuzana Eliášová, a spokeswoman for the Health Ministry.

The health minister has ordered hospitals in the most affected regions to increase the number of Covid beds beyond the originally set maximum third capacity phase.


More coronavirus and vaccination news

  • Covid map in Slovakia will be in darker colours from November 22. Only the districts of Bratislava and Dunajská Streda will remain in the red tier. 54 districts will be in the black tier with the strictest measures and 20 districts in dark-red.
  • 6,421 people were newly diagnosed as Covid positive out of 24,291 PCR tests performed on Tuesday. The number of people in hospitals has increased to 2,862 people. 46 more deaths were reported on Tuesday. The vaccination rate is at 46.37 percent, 2,550,248 people having received the first dose of the vaccine. More stats on Covid-19 in Slovakia here.
  • It is possible to download an EU Green Pass for recovery from the disease via website korona.gov.sk. Those interested can do so on the 12th day after learning of their positive test result for novel coronavirus.
  • There are currently 83 percent of pupils attending schools and the remaining 17 percent are learning remotely.

Photo of the day

Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová received a silver medal of Senate dedicated exceptional care for truth, freedom, political culture and rule of law from the President of the Czech Senate Miloš Vystrčil. While in the Czech Republic, she paid a visit to her Czech counterpart Miloš Zeman in a hospital in Prague. She wished him a fast recovery.


Feature story for today

While 58 percent of Czechs consider the current regime to be a better system than the one they lived under before the Velvet Revolution, that proportion is only 45 percent in Slovakia, according to a poll conducted by the Czech and Slovak polling agencies STEM and Focus, in cooperation with Czech and Slovak sociologists.

Unconvinced by democracy: Czechs nostalgic for Communist past, Slovaks even more so Read more 

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In other news

  • Slovakia will commemorate the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution on November 17, which is a national holiday. Most shops will be closed and several protest gatherings are expected in Bratislava during afternoon hours. Traffic might be blocked as well. Police are ready to intervene against people who will breach the law.
  • Gross domestic product (GDP) at constant prices grew by 1.3 percent y-o-y in the third quarter. Adjusted for seasonal effects, GDP increased by 1.3 percent y-o-y, and 0.4 percent q-o-q. The value of GDP at current prices in the third quarter exceeded 25.6 billion euros, up 4.3 percent y-o-y. This stems from the Statistics‘ Office's flash estimate of GDP for the third quarter of 2021.
  • Slovak battery producer Inobat Auto, which is in the preparation phase, has gained initial funds from a global company. The producer has lured British-Australian Rio Tinto. The volume of the investment was not specified but it is reportedly higher than €10 million.
  • More than a thousand students, members of academic society and the public participated in the Responsible Protest for Free universities. They protested against the amendment on university law, supported also by an online petition, signed almost by 17,000 people in ten days.
  • Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair will launch a new route from Bratislava to Lviv, Ukraine. It will operate three times a week – on Mondays, Fridays and Sundays – starting January 2, 2022.
  • Nearly 736 tonnes of Slovak mineral water for babies are being carried onboard a train dispatched to China. This is the very first delivery of its kind to China by railway.

Do not miss on Spectator.sk today

Slovak economy grew, but slower than originally expected Read more  Tree dubbed the Tatras umbrella named the Tree of the Year in Slovakia Read more  Pandemic brings lay-offs, but transforms labour market Read more  Planning a trip by plane? Check the entry conditions carefully 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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