News digest: Slovak embassy in Kyiv reopens

Government approves new Slovnaft tax. Bratislava palace to close in summer.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

Good evening. This is the Wednesday, May 18 edition of Today in Slovakia - the main news of the day in less than five minutes.

SaS ready to withdraw from coalition agreement

A picture of a happy family and the caption "two hundred euro a month per child" - the ruling OĽaNO party and its leader Igor Matovič are promoting help for families on social media as if it were a done deal.

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But while Finance Minister Matovič had tried to persuade coalition partner party SaS to support his social help package before it was submitted to cabinet on Wednesday, conflict between his party and SaS members has only deepened in recent days.

Matovič did not rule out proposing a tax hike for about a hundred companies to cover the costs for part of his proposed package, despite an SaS veto.

Meanwhile, SaS has not changed its critical attitude to the minister's proposals over the past week. The party has reiterated that tax hikes are a red line for them, and a violation of their veto would mean that SaS would cease to respect the coalition agreement.

The other two coalition partners, Za Ľudí and Sme Rodina, also have their reservations about Matovič's anti-inflation proposals.

New tax: The government has approved a new, temporary tax for the Slovnaft refinery. Parliament's approval is still required.

Leisure activities: Children aged 5-18 will receive €50 every month for their leisure activities. Though the government approved this proposal on May 18, it will also have to be okayed by MPs.

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Allowance: The child allowance will be increased for the month of May to €100. The government approved the Labour Ministry's proposal on May 18.

Who owns filling stations in Slovakia?

Who makes a profit selling fuel? And where does the petrol and diesel-fuel at individual pumps come from?

It is no surprise that Slovnaft, OMV and Shell are at the top of the list. The Index magazine looked at the 15 largest chains and ranked them by the number of filling stations.

The ranking is based on data provided by the chains on their websites and publicly available registers, or that provided directly to Index. The list does not include stations that offer only LPG, nor the Lukoil chain currently under the Slovnaft brand.

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Exotic butterfly

A butterfly in a tropical greenhouse at the Pavol Jozef Šafárik University Botanical Garden in Košice which is hosting a special event showcasing butterflies from far-flung places.


  • The Slovak embassy in Kyiv reopened on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Ivan Korčok announced. The situation in the Ukrainian capital is still tense, Korčok said, adding though it was politically important for Slovakia to be present in Kyiv.
  • Slovak diplomat Michal Hrušík drowned during a May 18 rafting trip on the border of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia.
  • Slovak PM Eduard Heger thanked and praised US lawmakers for their letter to the Meta company asking the firm to address the issue of pro-Russian disinformation in Slovakia.
  • 2,647 Ukrainian refugees crossed the Slovak-Ukrainian border to enter Slovakia on May 17.
  • Three people were seriously injured in a road accident between Galanta and Sládkovičovo, western Slovakia, on Wednesday morning. Twelve people were taken to hospital.


Esterházy Palace will close for the summer

The Slovak National Gallery (SNG) will close in Bratislava for the summer but will open new exhibitions in other parts of the country as an extensive refurbishment of its premises moves into its final phase.

​The Esterházy Palace, the last gallery building still open to the public in the capital, is to shut its doors for the summer as the gallery carries out final work on a massive refit.

But SNG officials have said art lovers can continue to enjoy works at its branches in other parts of Slovakia, with plans to open a number of new or renewed exhibitions in late May and June.

Along with the shutting of all its exhibition premises at the palace, the Ex Libris bookshop and the Berlinka café will be closed from June 4 until September 2.

More on

BUSINESS Solutions to tackle brain drain planned as part of Slovakia’s Recovery Plan Read more  CULTURE New confectioner's shop in Žilina employs socially-disadvantaged Read more  NEWS Low wages and corruption keeping young Slovaks from coming home Read more 

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