News digest: Poland offers to protect Slovak skies

Slovak PM will appear on BBC soon. Shops will be closed on Sunday.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

Good afternoon. The Friday, April 29 edition of Today in Slovakia is ready with the main news of the day in less than five minutes.

Parliament's lengthy proceedings about Fico's custody could mean it won't happen

The parliamentary session to decide whether to allow the detention of opposition leader Robert Fico is still continuing.

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The length of the procedure in parliament may mean that there is ultimately little reason to detain the Smer chairman, who faces serious criminal charges. It's now more than a week since Fico was charged, but MPs are yet to vote.

The process in parliament is not expected to conclude before next week, meaning it will have been two weeks since the prosecution started.

"Collusive" custody, intended to prevent the accused from interfering with witnesses, was requested in Ficos' case by Ladislav Masár, prosecutor of the Special Prosecutor’s Office.

“If key witnesses have been interrogated, a judge might not see a reason for collusive custody to prevent [the charged person] from influencing the witnesses,” said former prosecutor and attorney Eva Mišíková.

European labour market shortages addressed by ELA

The EU’s new European Labour Authority (ELA) officially moved into its Bratislava premises in late 2021, after multiple Covid waves had swept across the EU.

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This pandemic, as well as the war in Ukraine, has resulted in a number of challenges to the EU’s labour market, as well as new tasks for the ELA. The Slovak Spectator spoke about them with its executive director, Cosmin Boiangiu.

The ELA is supposed to ensure that everyone in the EU enjoys equal access to the labour market of each country, without any discrimination. The European body cooperates mostly with national authorities, which then advise their citizens.

"If you are aware of your rights and opportunities, you are less likely to be abused," said Boiangiu.

For job-seekers and those who would like to hire within the EU, there is a portal, Eures, which connects people in the EU and also some non-EU countries.

“Eures’ objective is to facilitate the free movement of workers within the European Economic Area,” said Boiangiu.

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Photo of the day

Four hundred years after the Hungarian coronation crown was kept safe in Trenčín for three months – a story unknown to most people in Slovakia – local jewellers are working on a replica to mark the anniversary.

Feature story for today

Japanese pharmaceutical company Takeda has big plans in Bratislava. For now, they are linked not to the development of new medicines, but to information technology.

Japanese pharmaceutical company taps IT expertise potential of Slovakia Read more 

In other news

  • Shops will be closed on Sunday, May 1, which is a national holiday in Slovakia. During the holiday most shops must close, the exceptions being petrol stations, shops at airports and railway stations, pharmacies, and shops where the owner, not employees, serves customers. Pubs and restaurants can open normally.
  • President Zuzana Čaputová has approved a judicial reform that was the last step to make Slovakia eligible to ask for its first payment from the EU's recovery and resilience plan. Prime Minister Eduard Heger (OĽaNO) wrote on Facebook that Slovakia is asking for almost €460 million.
  • Poland stands ready to protect Slovakia's airspace once Slovakia decides to ground its MiG-29 fighter jets, Slovak Defence Minister Jaroslav Naď (OĽaNO) announced at a press conference with his Polish counterpart Maruisz Błaszczak. Poland will protect Slovak skies until a new squadron of US F-16 fighter jets are delivered to Slovakia. That is expected to happen in the first half of 2024.
  • International organisations will take over the payment of financial assistance to refugees in Slovakia as of May 1. Vulnerable groups and individuals with special needs should thus gain better and faster access to financial aid, according to the Labour Ministry.
  • 926 people were newly diagnosed as Covid-positive out of 4,524 PCR tests performed on Thursday. There are 823 people with Covid in Slovak hospitals, and 12 more deaths from the disease were reported on Thursday. The vaccination rate stands at 51.29 percent, 2,821,078 people have received a first dose of the vaccine. More stats on Covid-19 in Slovakia here.
  • Prime Minister Eduard Heger gave an interview to the BBC's HARDTalk programme. He spoke to Stephen Sackur about the potential gas supply crisis and the situation in Ukraine. The interview is scheduled to be broadcast on BBC World TV on Monday.

Do not miss on today

Slovaks volunteer from the heart Read more  Waste has turned into something valuable worth a second life Read more  An unusual subject. Fifth-graders put on gloves and invite raptors to sit on their arms Read more 

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