News digest: In Serbia, foreigners became Slovaks

Standard and Poor's Global Ratings revised the outlook on Slovakia to negative. See where in Slovakia you can go to pick strawberries.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

Good evening. The Monday, May 23 edition of Today in Slovakia is ready with the main news of the day in less than five minutes.

How foreigners illegally became Slovaks

In the past couple of years, dozens of foreigners in Serbia reportedly managed to obtain a letter that confirmed their ties to Slovakia, though they had none.

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With the letter, they could be granted the status of a Slovak living abroad and access the Slovak labour market more easily in comparison to other foreigners, and obtain Slovak citizenship faster by several years.

The Office for Slovaks Living Abroad has stopped recognising the letters issued by Matica Slovenská in Serbia, a Slovak institution whose history dates back to 1923.

"Strong green tea"

A drug known internationally as khat has appeared in Slovakia.

In February a consignment was intercepted in the Zemplín region, eastern Slovakia. It originated in the Middle East with the United Kingdom being the probable destination. The seized amount of drugs was worth about €313,000 on the black market, the police said.

The National Crime Agency accused a man from eastern Slovakia with illicit drug production, possession and trafficking. During his hearing, the man claimed he did not know what was khat and that he was under the impression it was green tea.

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Recovery Plan to tackle brain drain

Brain drain, or the loss of skilled and qualified people, has been a major drag on Slovakia's labour market for decades. Research has repeatedly shown that Slovakia sees more of its students leaving for foreign universities than most other OECD countries.

There have been several partial programmes addressing the outflow of highly qualified members of the workforce from the country's labour market, some with the aim of discouraging Slovaks from leaving and enticing those already abroad into returning.

These attempts have now translated into a component of Slovakia's post-pandemic Recovery and Resilience Plan.


  • Standard and Poor's Global Ratings, a credit rating agency, revised the outlook on Slovakia to negative.
  • Temporary protection status significantly shortens and simplifies the access of Ukrainian refugees to employment in Slovakia.
  • The participation of political party representatives in TV debates should have clear rules, said OĽaNO chair Igor Matovič. "In the last two years, someone has decided to make Peter Pellegrini (Hlas) the future prime minister," the finance minister said at his press conference on May 23.
  • A day-long school holiday falling on one of the days in late January or early February will be cancelled from the following school year, an Education Ministry decree reads.
  • More than 3,000 Ukrainian refugees entered Slovakia on the Slovak-Ukrainian border on Sunday, May 22, the Interior Ministry said.
  • Armory company Grand Power, which is engaged in the production of weapons, plans to build a new plant in Kremnické Bane, central Slovakia. Forty jobs are said to be created. (SITA)
  • The Supreme Administrative Court reprimanded Special Prosecutor Daniel Lipšic in a disciplinary proceeding initiated by Prosecutor General Maros Žilinka. Lipšic is guilty of not refraining from publicly presenting his opinion on cases that had not been closed with a valid ruling. A five-member panel handed down the ruling at a public hearing last Friday. (SITA)

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