News digest: More foreigners living in Slovakia

Bratislava Region is only rich on paper, national broadcaster marks colour anniversary, and US soldiers in Slovakia for exercises.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

Good afternoon. Here is a quick summary of the main news of the day in our Friday, February 18, 2022 edition of Today in Slovakia.

For weekend tips and reads, check out our Spectacular Slovakia weekly roundup. This week, Peter Dlhopolec writes about a successful and talented Slovak photographer ,and a Slovak-Ukrainian writer, and also offers some travel tips for the weekend.

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Bratislava region is only rich on paper, local leaders want this to change

The Bratislava Self-governing Region (BSK) has launched a campaign named 'Poor Rich Region' to get the European Commission to recognise it needs greater EU funding. Members of the city and regional parliaments have joined the campaign, putting their names to an open letter to the Commission.

“First of all, it is important the European Union changes the criteria it uses to evaluate the wealth of regions," said BSK governor Juraj Droba.

Based on official statistics, the Bratislava region is the 13th richest region in the European Union.

Anniversary of the week

On February 14, 1970, Czechoslovak Television broadcast in colour for the first time, showing the World Skiing Championships, in the High Tatras. The broadcast was carried out from Bratislava.

More coronavirus and vaccination news

  • 17,536 people were newly diagnosed as Covid-positive out of 31,179 PCR tests performed on Thursday. The number of people in hospitals is 2,524. 22 more deaths were reported on Thursday. The vaccination rate is now 51.16 percent, with 2,783,270 people having received a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. More stats on Covid-19 in Slovakia here.
  • According to the National Health Information Centre (NCZI), 1,367 people have registered to get the Novavax vaccine against Covid. For 638 of them, this will be their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
  • The Trnava Self-Governing Region is closing its vaccination centre, one year after it opened, amid waning interest in jabs. During this time, it administered almost 340,000 vaccines. Vaccitation in the region continues in hospitals, polyclinics and GP surgeries.
  • The Banská Bystrica Self-Governing Region is closing its three large vaccination centres, too. They will continue to operate until late March.
  • A total of 573 people died of Covid-19 in January, the Health Care Surveillance Authority (ÚDZS) has said. ÚDZS recorded a further 99 deaths with Covid-19, but said that it was not able to determine the extent to which SARS-CoV-2 infection contributed to deaths in these cases .

Photo of the day

Feature story

Estonia gave the world Skype, Finland legendary Nokia mobile phones, and Sweden the furniture giant Ikea. What did Slovakia give it? At the beginning of this millennium, it looked like it would be SkyEurope Airlines.

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On February 13, 2002, the airline's maiden flight took place between Bratislava and Košice. What followed can be described as an air travel boom among Slovaks. However, SkyEurope Airlines will not be marking the 20th anniversary of this event.

Despite big plans, an even bigger crash followed relatively quickly.

Related article From air travel boost to a colossal crash: SkyEurope Read more 

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In other news

  • 2,000 members of the US Armed Forces, along with 600 items of military equipment, are currently moving through Slovakia to Saber Strike 22 multinational combined forces exercise, the Slovak Army told the TASR newswire.
  • Slovak zoos have significantly limited sources of funding and therefore minimal development opportunities, according to the findings of the Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ). It therefore calls for a change in their funding to a multi-source system.
  • The 2021 census showed a growth in both the number and share of foreigners with long-term residence in Slovakia. This is most obvious in the Bratislava region, where the number of foreigners with long-term residence in Slovakia increased from 5,264 in 2011 to 19,569 in 2021. In total, 3.9 percent of the population (213,550) was born outside Slovakia, and 0.3 percent (14,369) did not reveal their country of birth, the Statistics Office reported.
  • Only a small part of the new court map as proposed by Justice Minister Mária Kolíková made it to a second reading in parliament. Two of the four coalition parties, Sme Rodina and Za Ľudí, did not vote for the proposed changes to the judiciary, which were one of the government's main projects in their effort to fulfill an election promise to improve justice in the country.
  • Suburban public bus transport in the Bratislava Region has stabilised after initial problems caused by the arrival of the new operator, Arriva. Services are currently running at about 98 percent and therefore free transport will end as of March 1.
  • Firefighters in the Trnava Region had a busy night on Thursday, February 17, as they were called out 22 times to clear up after strong wind wreaked havoc. They cleared mostly trees that had fallen on roads, felled power lines and roofs and split trees endangering nearby buildings and traffic. They were also called out after a triage Covid-19 tent in front of a Trnava hospital was blown away, the TASR newswire reported.
  • The Environment Ministry is drafting the Žitný Ostrov Drinking Water Reservoir Protection Action Plan that will regulate the protection of underground water in the area, Environment Minister Jan Budaj (OĽaNO) announced on Thursday. It wants the quality of the water to be monitored more extensively because Žitný Ostrov (Rye Island) is also important to agriculture. Pollution may pose a danger underground waters reservoirs. The island is the biggest drinking water reservoir in Slovakia, and one of the biggest in Europe.

Don't miss in today

Unnoticed Slovak writer published in Ukraine Read more  A turning point in the refurbishment of the dilapidated main station in Bratislava Read more  Tiso's birthplace could end up in the hands of extremists Read more  First rector of Petersburg university came from Slovakia Read more 

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