Welcome to your weekly overview of news from Slovakia. While Prime Minister Eduard Heger makes declarations about mandatory Covid vaccination, his finance minister pursues his own alternative ideas. Lockdown will most likely be prolonged. The justice minister proposes to criminalise spreading disinformation. A citizenship law vote is postponed again. Bratislava Region says a solution has been found for the collapse in suburban transport.
Entering December, Slovakia had one of the lowest vaccination rates in the European Union. The ongoing lockdown has not boosted people’s interest in the Covid jab – in the initial days of the half-hearted closure, it rather seems to have worked in the opposite direction.
Since the start of the vaccination roll-out last Christmas, people in Slovakia have had access to nearly every available type of vaccine – including, unlike most other EU countries, the Russian Sputnik vaccine, which was intended to appeal to those sceptical of western technology. Yet, despite the now-disastrous situation in Slovak hospitals and the highest infection numbers the country has witnessed during the entire pandemic, more than half of the country’s population are facing the virus “on their own” – as the euphemism for non-vaccination has it – most of them because they have chosen that option.