News digest: Oligarch charged, then discharged, now charged again

President Čaputová to visit Pope Francis. Another UNESCO entry for Slovakia. Learn more in today's digest.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

Good evening. Here is the Thursday, December 1 edition of Today in Slovakia - the main news of the day in less than five minutes.

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Haščák facing charges again

Co-founder of the Penta financial group, Jaroslav Haščák, is facing charges for serious crimes pertaining to the notorious Gorilla case.

The Gorilla case involves alleged secret recordings leaked in 2011, purportedly made several years earlier by intelligence agents, revealing high-level corruption.

Now, an investigator of the National Criminal Agency (NAKA) brought charges against Haščák for founding, planning and supporting an organised crime group.

Former politician Jiří Malchárek and then National Property Fund head Anna Bubeníková have also been charged in this case. The police have charged a total of seven people.

Read more about Haščák and the case:

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Feature story for today

This year's Eset Science Award for Outstanding Scientist in Slovakia Under the Age of 35 went to Miroslav Almáši, who works in the Faculty of Science at Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice.

Almáši deals with the use and application of porous materials in energy storage, biomedicine and environmental issues. Discover more about his work in the interview.

Like building nano Lego. Slovak scientist designs materials that can tackle pollution Read more 

Picture of the day

A new elephant in the Bojnice zoo, seen for the first time outside its enclosure. For the first time in 40 years, the zoo gained a new elephant, originally born in Zimbabwe.

In other news

  • Weather forecast for Friday and the weekend according to the Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute. Friday will be cloudy, with drizzles in the southwest of the country, maximum temperatures between 1 and 6 degrees Celsius. Saturday will be mostly cloudy, with daytime temperatures between 1 and 6 degrees. Sunday will be mostly cloudy with a mild increase in daytime temperatures to 2 to 7 degrees.
  • Pope Francis will receive Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová in the Vatican on December 10. During the visit, the president will also hold talks with state secretary Pietro Parolin. The last time the Pope received Slovak President was in December 2020. Francis visited Slovakia in September the following year.
  • With a few exceptions, almost all the doctors who handed in notices of resignation at the end of September have now recalled them. This includes doctors in hospitals in the towns of Bojnice, Považská Bystrica, Prešov, Ružomberok, Banská Bystrica and others. So far, only two doctors in Louis Pasteur University Hospital in Košice and three in Poprad have not done so. Hospitals will continue to provide health care. They are also expected to stop cancelling planned surgeries. Several medical facilities have resorted to this step in recent days in anticipation of a mass exodus of doctors.
  • On Thursday, President Zuzana Čaputová signed an amendment to the Act on Healthcare Providers aimed at raising the salaries of doctors in hospitals. The raise came in response to the demands of Medical Trade Unions and a mass submitting of notices by doctors.
  • Interior Minister Roman Mikulec (OĽaNO) has survived another round of a no-confidence vote on Thursday. The vote was initiated by the opposition party Smer, whose chair Robert Fico, said that Mikulec is incapable of handling the current migration crisis.
  • The opposition party SaS is going to initiate a no-confidence vote against the government. The party has collected enough signatures to convene an extraordinary meeting. According to leader Richard Sulík, the government is unable to solve people's problems and has stopped fighting corruption. Sulík declared that 20 MPs from the party caucus would support the vote.
  • The operation of the chair lift from Kamzík to Železná Studnička in Bratislava will be restored on Saturday, December 3. Originally it was supposed to be on Thursday, but has been postponed due to technical difficulties. The lift was not operational due to the second renovation phase.

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