News digest: We visit the camp for migrants near the Czech border

A Polish firm will help fix Bratislava's highway 'fiasco'. President Čaputová is taking sick leave. Ukrainian refugees to get more financial aid to help with energy costs.

(Source: SME.sk / Hej,ty)

Good evening. Here is the Monday, December 5 edition of Today in Slovakia - the main news of the day in less than five minutes.


Thousands of migrants are stuck in Slovakia

Thousands of mostly Syrian migrants are trapped in Slovakia as Czech border patrols are preventing them from crossing into Czech territory, while Hungary refuses to take back those that have already travelled north into Slovakia. The government is struggling to come up with a solution.

The Slovak Spectator visited a tent town that the Interior Ministry has set up to house up to 200 migrants next to a residential area and railway station in the border town of Kúty. The emergency accommodation was established after an increase in reports about groups of migrants roaming the towns and fields near the border.

Locals have expressed unease about their presence, but the police have recorded no offences committed by migrants. Some people are trying to help: groups of volunteers are working in shifts to provide care for the Kúty tent town's inhabitants.

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“I think it is a big contradiction to be moved by the horrors and victims of the Holocaust, to condemn Putin’s regime while looking at the bodies of dead civilians in the media, and at the same time to scold migrants and refugees from war-torn Syria,” local priest František Moško, leader of the volunteering groups, told The Slovak Spectator.


More stories on Spectator.sk

  • UKRAINE: Ukrainian refugees are to receive an increased accommodation allowance from the Slovak government. The increase takes growing energy bills into account. The aim of the regulation is to ensure refugees' dignity and protect their welfare.
  • HIGHWAYS: The missing junction between the D1 and D4 highways has prompted jokes, embarrassment and frustration ever since the Bratislava ring road was opened last year. Now, the authorities have finally signed a contract with a Polish company to build the missing junction – but it will take years to complete, and promises to cause precisely the traffic chaos that the ring road was supposed to avoid.
  • HOLIDAYS: The Christmas tram in Bratislava is back once again. Visitors and residents can ride free of charge. The tram, which is decorated with Christmas lights, will complete circuits of the city centre at approximately half-hour intervals.

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Last week

It was one of those weeks when a single number, “363”, was uttered with growing frequency in Slovakia. Though it is mostly accompanied by question marks, exclamation marks and even obscenities, General Prosecutor Maroš Žilinka seems determined to use 363 as his answer to every dilemma, no matter how controversial the circumstances. Editor-in-Chief Michaela Terenzani sums up the last week in Slovakia in her regular newsletter.


In other news

  • President Zuzana Čaputová has cancelled her appointments over the coming days due to illness.
  • The government approved a €5,000 stabilisation allowance for health-care personnel who meet a series of conditions, including a commitment to working for at least three years at the same hospital. The allowance is budgeted to cost €200 million overall. The allowances are supposed to stabilize hospitals and their personnel, and help rebuild hospital infrastructure. (TASR)
  • Bratislava's Comenius University is to receive €25,000 for student groups. The university plans to support the activities of the Faculty of Mathematics and IT, buying virtual reality sets to teach dentistry and other disciplines. (TASR)
  • Cooperation between Hungary and Slovakia is growing, bringing progress to infrastructure and the economy, said Slovak Foreign Affair Minister Rastislav Káčer and his Hungarian counterpart Péter Szijjártó during a meeting in Bratislava. Countries should build on their similarities, not focus on their differences, Káčer said. (TASR)

If you have suggestions on how this news overview can be improved, you can reach us at editorial@spectator.sk.


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