News digest: "Denazification" claims are anti-Semitism too, president says

Slovakia supports EU joint gas purchases. Bratislava to get a new Holocaust memorial. Live Aid Map provides more information for Ukrainians in Slovakia.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

Good afternoon. Here is a quick summary of the main news of the day in our Friday, March 25, 2022 edition of Today in Slovakia. Read the news of the day in less than 5 minutes.

Parliament apologises for wartime deportations to death camps

Slovakia today marks the 80th anniversary of the first transport of Jews to Nazi death camps in 1942. It left from the northern Slovak city of Poprad.

Parliament adopted a resolution condemning the deportations, expressed its regret, and apologised to survivors and descendants of the victims for the actions of the former state apparatus.

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The resolution declares that parliament finds "the forcible deportations of citizens of Jewish origin from the territory of the then Slovak Republic, which took place between March 25, 1942 and October 20, 1942, to be particularly reprehensible".

  • Anti-Semitism has not disappeared from society, and the number of anti-Semitic incidents has even grown in recent years, President Zuzana Čaputová said in Poprad during Friday’s memorial service on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the first transport of Jews from Slovakia. “A denial of historical facts and trivialisation of crimes, for example in the form of the cynical justification of Russia’s aggression towards Ukraine by [reference to] so-called ‘denazification’ is also anti-Semitism,” she said.
  • Prime Minister Eduard Heger (OĽaNO) said on the occasion of Friday’s 80th anniversary of the start of the deportation of Jews from Slovakia during WWII that this is a loud reminder of our duty to preserve peace, democracy and human rights.
  • Foreign Affairs Minister Ivan Korčok wrote that today’s anniversary is a reminder for Slovakia to stand up against evil before it is too late.
  • The foundation stone of the future memorial to the victims of the Holocaust was ceremonially tapped on the site of ​​a former ammunition factory in Bratislava’s Patrónka district. The act was part of events to remember the 80th anniversary of the start of the deportations.

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Slovakia supports joint European gas purchases, PM declares

Slovakia supports joint gas purchase at the European level, Prime Minister Eduard Heger (OĽaNO) said ahead of the second day of an EU Summit in Brussels on March 25.

He also said that Slovakia is ready to help Ukraine with the reforms required to secure its accession to the EU.

"Our proposal, that help for Ukraine should be not only financial, but also comprise help with reforms, has made it into the conclusions [of the summit]," Heger said, as quoted by the SITA newswire. "We know very well that reforms are key for a country to fulfil all the criteria to become an EU member."

Heger said countries like Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia also need assistance to fulfil the accession criteria.

Live Aid Map shows places where Ukrainian refugees can get help

The Who Will Help Ukraine initiative has created a live Aid Map with information about places where refugees from Ukraine can get help throughout Slovakia. It features collection and dispensing points for material assistance, foreign police, hotspots, community centres for Ukrainians and important state institutions or places where Ukrainian currency can be exchanged, co-founder of the initiative Lucia Pašková explained.

Ukrainian refugees in Slovakia

  • Medical workers fleeing Ukraine are still experiencing problems getting their qualifications recognised in Slovakia and thus also in starting temporary internships, even after the Lex Ukraine legislation was passed recently.
  • As the State Veterinary and Food Administration has banned animals from shelters and livestock from Ukraine from entering Slovakia this week, Ukrainian refugees are allowed to cross the border with no more than five cats, dogs or ferrets.
  • Results of a survey conducted by the AKO pollster for the TV show Joj Na hrane show that 83.8 percent of respondents support easing access by highly qualified foreigners to the Slovak labour market.

In other news

  • 8,104 people were newly diagnosed as Covid positive out of 15,364 PCR tests performed on Thursday. The number of people in hospitals with Covid is 2,241. Twenty further Covid-related deaths were reported on Thursday. The vaccination rate stands at 51.26 percent. More stats on Covid-19 in Slovakia can be found here.
  • Daylight saving time begins on Sunday, March 27, when clocks will be set forward one hour from 2:00 to 3:00 (i.e. we 'lose' an hour).
  • The public broadcaster RTVS will broadcast the international charity concert “Save Ukraine - #StopWar”, which was created on the initiative of the Polish public TV broadcaster TVP in cooperation with Ukrainian public television, and under the auspices and support of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). The live broadcast will take place on Sunday, March 27, from 17:30 on the second channel of RTVS.
  • The Bratislava water utility company BVS is increasing the fee for drinking water as of April 1. For a three-member family the increase will be approximately €0.26 per month.
  • Boat Number Five, a novel by Slovak writer Monika Kompaníková, and translated into English by Janet Livingstone, has been shortlisted for the EBRD Literature Prize 2022. The book was published in Great Britain by Seagull Books.

Photo of the day

The Bratislava Candle Demonstration, which took place on Hviezdoslavovo Square in Bratislava on March 25, 1988, went down in history as one of the most significant public manifestations of resistance against the communist regime in the former Czechoslovakia.

Since 1993, March 25 has been the Day of the Struggle for Human Rights, and by law the memorial day of the Slovak Republic. This year Slovakia marks the 34th anniversary of this rally for religious rights and freedoms, which was brutally suppressed.

Featured story for today

Visitors to Bratislava who come across the eye-catching equestrian sculpture of the Habsburg Empress Maria Theresa on the banks of the Danube are unlikely to be surprised that the city has a monument of her. A Habsburg ruler crowned in Bratislava, she was a key figure in its past.

But what visitors are more likely to be surprised by is the history of the statue itself.​

Wandering sculptures go on tour Read more 

Don't miss today

Weekend: $200 million for Warhol's blue Marilyn? Read more  The student who refused to wait for a bomb to kill her Read more  New museum celebrating Reformation opens in Bratislava Read more  Vietnamese campaign for their rights: “We belong here” Read more  How Bojnice Castle became a fairy-tale place Read more 

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