News digest: Volkswagen Slovakia will halt production for a week

Bratislava's Nová Tržnica is getting a facelift, cities are opening community centres for Ukrainian refugees, and the Eurasian hoopoe is Slovakia's Bird of the Year 2022.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

Good afternoon. Here is a quick summary of the main news of the day in our Friday, April 1, 2022 edition of Today in Slovakia. Get up to date in less than 5 minutes.

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Bratislava's own 'mini-Pompidou Centre' gets a facelift

Nová Tržnica, the indoor market hall on the edge of Bratislava’s city centre, is undergoing a gradual upgrade. The repair of its distinctive glass facade will be financed from the sale of limited-edition design items including T-shirts, hoodies and shopping bags. The project was prepared by the Bratislava borough of Nové Mesto in cooperation with the municipal organisation EKO-podnik VPS, which manages the venue. Recently, the market hall has undergone several external modifications and cleaning of some interior spaces, and further reconstruction is planned.

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The building had suffered from a persistent lack of maintenance and repair over the years, resulting in a drop in popularity among Bratislava residents. But more recently it has undergone several modifications.

Ukrainian refugees in Slovakia

  • A total of 2,823 people entered Slovakia from Ukraine on Thursday, March 31, including 662 men, 1,547 women and 614 children. 798 Ukrainians applied for temporary refuge on the same day. The total number of people who have entered Slovakia from Ukraine since the conflict broke out is 292,039, while 59,118 Ukrainians have applied for temporary refuge since March 1.
  • The police have changed the opening hours of Foreigners’ Police offices following a drop in the inflow of refugees crossing the Slovak-Ukrainian border. Large-capacity centres remain in round-the-clock operation, the police announced on social networks on Friday, April 1.
  • Bratislava’s boroughs are publishing on their websites a manual on the accommodation of refugees from Ukraine and the associated payment from the state. In the manual they provide information on eligible applicants, the amount of the contribution provided and the necessary forms, but also on the obligations of both parties, i.e. residents and landlords.
  • The community centre on Ovučská Steet in the Bratislava borough of Nové Mesto will temporarily change into a Slovak-Ukrainian community centre. The borough wants to create a space for people fleeing Ukraine, where, in addition to information and services, they will also find a place to meet or exchange experiences.
  • The Malý Berlín culture hub in Trnava will house a Ukrainian Club. It should serve especially Ukrainian young people, but also all those who like culture and art. Informal meetings for people from Ukraine should take place on the first Sunday of each month.
  • During the first month of the military invasion and the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, Slovak non-governmental organisations transported more than 700 tonnes of humanitarian aid to the territory of Ukraine.
  • The University of Prešov has launched Slovak-language courses for Ukrainian refugees.

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Photo of the day

The Eurasian hoopoe was elected as Slovakia's Bird of the Year 2022 to point out the need for changes in the countryside. Its numbers have been in long-term decline in Slovakia, the main reason being changes in land management to remove small fields and pastures, the Slovak Ornithological Society/BirdLife Slovakia (SOS/BirdLife) reported.

Feature story for today

Even though Bratislava was once known as the Beauty on the Danube, the river has never been an integral part of the city that can be enjoyed by its residents. The original reason was that the river was subject to occasional, destructive floods that severely damaged the city numerous times. Only after Italian engineer Enea Grazioso Lanfranconi redesigned the Danube’s riverbed, in the late nineteenth century, and the Gabčíkovo hydropower plant was built, in the late twentieth century, was this threat significantly reduced.

But while the green belt forming the river’s inundation area, comprising riparian forests and meadows that flank both banks, is a popular destination for Bratislava residents and visitors looking for nature and recreation, its potential for sustainable tourism has yet to be fully tapped. The project Bratislava Danube Park (BDP) should change this. The idea of its initiators is to unite the natural areas on the left and right banks of the Danube in Bratislava into one nature park with a single administration, and to utilise the potential of the river for sports and recreation.

Bratislava Danube Park to tap potential of sustainable tourism Read more 

Anniversary of the week

Construction of the Petržalka housing estate commenced 49 years ago, on April 2, 1973. Today it is the biggest housing estate in Slovakia.

In other news

  • Production at the Bratislava-based automaker Volkswagen Slovakia will be halted again, this time for a week: from Monday, April 4 through Friday, April 8. The reason is the global semiconductor shortage in combination with a shortage of some parts in connection with the war in Ukraine.
  • 5,754 people were newly diagnosed as Covid positive out of 11,822 PCR tests performed on Thursday. The number of people in hospitals with Covid is 2,037. Sixteen further Covid-related deaths were reported on Thursday. The vaccination rate stands at 51.27 percent. More stats on Covid-19 in Slovakia can be found here.
  • General Prosecutor Maroš Žilinka has refused to withdraw from a cooperation agreement between the General Prosecutor’s Offices of Slovakia and Russia. He dismissed the move, for which calls have been growing in light of Russia's invasion of neighbouring Ukraine, as "a formal gesture". The agreement has provided a framework for cooperation between the offices since March 2002.
  • The passenger railway company ZSSK will resume operation of commercial InterCity trains from Bratislava to Košice via Žilina in response to scrapping of anti-pandemic measures. IC 52X will resume operation as of April 10 and IC 521 from April 11.
  • Bathing in waterfalls, lakes or streams in the High Tatras National Park is prohibited, the Green Line of the Environment Ministry has reiterated on social networks. Anyone violating the ban could face a fine of up to €3,319.
  • The developer Penta Real Estate has confirmed that it has acquired 85,000 m2 of land on the Petržalka bank of the Danube in Bratislava from developer HB Reavis. It wants to build flats and offices on the site. The value of the transaction was not revealed.

Do not miss on today

Weekend: A secret Poloniny area loved by communists Read more  Summer residence of the Habsburgs and presidents serves as a hotel today Read more  Blog: Schools need to focus on more than just academic learning Read more  After years of humiliation, Russia feels pride once again. She is finally being taken seriously Read more  Descendants of Czechoslovak emigrants get easier access to Slovak citizenship Read more 

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