News digest: A letter to Mark Zuckerberg

Slovakia supports Finland and Sweden in joining NATO. Read an interview with outgoing US Ambassador to Slovakia Bridget Brink.

(Source: SME.sk / Hej,ty)

Good evening. The Tuesday, May 17 edition of Today in Slovakia is ready with the main news of the day in less than five minutes.


US congressmen ask Zuckerberg to stop pro-Russian propaganda on Slovak Facebook

Facebook should address the dangerous spread of pro-Russian disinformation on its platforms in Slovakia, members of the US Congress wrote in their letter to Mark Zuckerberg earlier this week.

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Facebook has agreed to brief the committee in the coming days.

Members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence travelled to Slovakia in April and found that the disinformation threat has grown more acute in recent weeks, following the outbreak of the war in Ukraine.

The government had been warning the Slovak population about disinformation being used as a weapon before as well as after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The government of Eduard Heger hastily passed legislation in late February, just days after Russia invaded Ukraine, allowing the authorities to temporarily shut down "sources of malicious content". This, however, does not involve Facebook posts.


Households helped Slovak economy in Q1/2022

Slovakia’s economy reached pre-pandemic values in the first quarter of 2022 when its gross domestic product increased by 3.1 percent year on year.

Economic growth stood at 1.4 percent at the end of last year. Its dynamics thus sped up and surprised analysts.

The Statistics Office, which published the first GDP flash estimate of this year on May 17, added that GDP rose by 0.4 percent quarter on quarter. Analysts of the monetary analysis, statistics, research and market operation division at the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) said the economy rose somewhat more slowly than they had expected in their March prediction.

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“The war in Ukraine slowed the already initiated catch-up to the pre-pandemic GDP level,” they explained. With that and the resulting uncertainty involving existing problems with supplies have exacerbated and import prices have reached record levels.

The economy is lagging behind pre-pandemic levels by 0.8 percentage points, NBS analysts added. According to UniCredit Bank analyst Ľubomír Koršňák, “So far, the economy has reached roughly the levels from the first quarter of 2019.”


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FEATURE STORY

US defending Slovakia is not a promise, it’s a commitment

We should play on people’s dreams and aspirations, not fears and insecurities like those spreading disinformation, says the outgoing US Ambassador to Slovakia BRIDGET BRINK, President Joe Biden s nominee as the new US ambassador to Ukraine.


IN OTHER NEWS

  • Many lesbians, gays and transgender people have learnt to hide from us who they really are. Since childhood, many have faced ridicule, exclusion, discrimination and some have even faced violence, President Zuzana Čaputová wrote on Facebook on the occasion of the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. “They also tend to be a target for politicians who exploit otherness for their own political ends, she added.
  • Slovakia will unequivocally support Finland and Sweden in joining NATO, said Foreign Minister Ivan Korčok.
  • Forty-eight percent of Slovaks think that it is not worthwhile behaving honestly in Slovakia, a survey conducted by the Focus agency for the Let’s Stop Corruption Foundation shows.

  • Former Slovak finance minister Ivan Mikloš will become a member of the Advisory Board of the Ukrainian National Council for the Reconstruction of Ukraine.

  • On Monday, May 16, 2,437 Ukrainian refugees crossed the Slovak-Ukrainian border.

  • The Defence Ministry registers 35 official applications for permission to perform military service in the armed forces of another state.

  • Municipal and regional elections will be held on October 29, Speaker Boris Kollár said.

  • Slovakia will pay its bill for Russian gas to Gazprom in euros. The money will be converted to rubles in a European bank account, Economy Minister Richard Sulík said.


More on Spectator.sk


NEWS Prosecutor files indictment against ex-secret service head again Read more  NEWS Matovič proposes cutting municipality money, mayors oppose Read more  BUSINESS Solutions to tackle brain drain planned as part of Slovakia’s Recovery Plan 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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