News digest: Fico's cry for help unanswered by Europe

A special detector from Slovakia could protect people against chemical weapons. The country has too many unused Covid-19 vaccines.

(Source: m.smedata.sk)

Good evening. The Tuesday, April 26 edition of Today in Slovakia is ready with the main news of the day in less than five minutes.


Europe gives Fico the cold shoulder

In a letter sent to European leaders, the charged former prime minister Robert Fico (Smer) initially names his political achievements before he slanders Slovakia, its government and institutions, for the alleged abuse of criminal law.

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“It has nothing to do with democracy, the rule of law and it is a gross trampling of the principles on which the EU stands,” he complains.

However, no European leader has backed Fico, who faces several charges, including allegedly being part of an organised crime group. “It’s funny,” said Czech MEP Tomáš Zdechovský about Fico’s letter. “It seems to me that he is now criticising the situation in Slovakia because it's about him.”

Quote: “You’re smelling the blood of a Smer politician.” - Fico to the journalists waiting for him at the police on April 26, 2022

Other developments on Robert Fico

  • On Tuesday, April 26, Fico arrived at the police to be heard in his case. He refused to in the end, claiming that he did not understand the charges he was facing. Fico also claimed that investigators had failed to explain the accusation. He left the police after 10 minutes, accusing investigators of not writing the document listing the charges. The Special Prosecutor’s Office did it, Fico believes.
  • President Zuzana Čaputová criticised Fico for his political attacks on Tuesday. She said that Slovakia is not a totalitarian regime and court rulings are not decided in advance, noting that Fico has all the legal means at his disposal to defend himself. “The last thing law enforcement needs today is pressure from politicians,” she said. Čaputová refuses to play Fico’s political game as she does not want to imperil trust in justice.
  • In a letter addressed to the leaders of EU institutions, a group of Slovak MEPs refuted the statements made by Fico in his letter.

Covid-19 vaccines for millions expiring

Slovakia owns 2.5 million unused Covid-19 vaccines. Many are already expiring and thousands of the vaccines will have arrived in Slovakia before 2022 ends.

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Nevertheless, the interest in getting jabbed among people in Slovakia has decreased. Millions of euros will have been wasted. The country has spent €151 million on Covid-19 vaccines so far.

“Having current stocks means that some doses will expire and will have to be destroyed,” said Ingrid Ludviková, a spokesperson for the European Commission’s Representation in Slovakia.

The Health Ministry said it would try to sell or donate unused and unexpired Covid-19 vaccines. The European Commission, however, can help tackle the problem with the vaccine surplus as well.


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Coronavirus updates in short:

A total of 1,398 people in Slovakia tested positive for Covid-19 on April 25. The number of people in hospitals fell to 951; and 10 more deaths were reported on Monday. A total of 2,820,925 people have received the first dose of the vaccine. More stats on Covid-19 in Slovakia here.


Photo of the day: Borišov

The Turčianska Záhradka project, founded by Branislav Šimko, announced a new hiking challenge – Koruna Turca – to promote peaks in several mountain ranges, including Malá Fatra and Veľká Fatra, which surround the Turiec region.


Feature story for Tuesday

A special detector of chemical weapons

Most countries have committed themselves to not produce or use chemical weapons, and pledged to dispose of old chemical weapons. However, this is only a formal promise.

That is why countries are looking for ways to defend themselves against them.

"Even a very small amount is enough to kill an adult," said Michal Šimko, founder and CEO of the Slovak company SEC Technologies.

His company, which is based in Liptovský Mikuláš, central Slovakia, is developing a device that allows the presence of chemicals in the air to be remotely detected.


In other news

  • The far-right politician Marian Kotleba (ĽSNS) attempted to enter the parliament building on Tuesday even though he had lost an MP’s chair following the Supreme Court’s decision. He argued that he had not received the decision. On April 26, Slavěna Vorobelová as the new MP replaced Kotleba in the parliament for the first time.

  • On April 25, 2,051 Ukrainian refugees arrived in Slovakia, and as many as 543 Ukrainian refugees applied for temporary refuge on the same day. Slovakia had granted temporary refuge to 71,250 Ukrainian refugees by Monday. At the same time, a total of 1,552 Ukrainians decided to return to Ukraine.

  • The authenticity of a document of temporary refuge can now be verified online.

  • In Slovakia, 5,701 people died in March, which was the highest so far this year, the Statistics Office announced.


More on Spectator.sk


Business Foreign workers returning to Slovakia Read more  Travel Košice Region will build a car camping spot in Slovak Paradise Read more  Lifestyle Bratislava offers new places to get your hands dirty 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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