Good evening. The Monday, December 12 edition of Today in Slovakia is ready with the main news of the day in less than five minutes.
Government's fate hangs in the balance
Prime Minister Eduard Heger of the ruling OĽaNO party and his government will face a vote of no-confidence on Tuesday. It promises to be a close call.
The opposition-initiated and -backed vote is believed to have 75 votes behind it, including the support of some unaffiliated MPs, which means the backing of just one more MP in the 150-seat parliament would be needed to bring the government down.
Unlike other unaffiliated MPs, Slavěna Vorobelová, a little-known lawmaker who became an MP after being elevated from the electoral list of the far-right ĽSNS party in spring 2022 after party leader Marian Kotleba was convicted of an extremism-related crime and expelled from parliament, has not communicated how she is going to vote. She will reveal her decision before tomorrow's vote, she told the Sme daily. Vorobelová might thus become the MP who decides the fate of Heger's cabinet.
Meanwhile, the prime minister is predicting chaos amid the multiple crises facing Slovakia, is warning of the return of ex-prime minister Robert Fico of the Smer party – and with him the mafia – to power, and is calling for the protection of democracy, but has refused to acknowledge any mis-steps by his cabinet that may have given rise to his present predicament.
Commentary: Why is there a no-confidence vote proposal?
Minister: Interior Minister Roman Mikulec (OĽaNO) does not intend to stand down, the TASR news agency wrote. The prime minister will not remove him from the post either. The opposition Hlas party claimed over the weekend that Mikulec would be sacrificed by the government to avoid losing the no-confidence vote. Martin Borguľa, an MP for the ruling Sme Rodina party who is facing criminal charges, has said he will support the vote if Mikulec, whose ministry oversees the police force, is not sacked.
Quotable: "Tomorrow's vote is a very important vote. After 11 years, it is a vote on the character of the state, and trust." – Prime Minister Eduard Heger
Poll: If parliamentary elections had taken place in early December, Hlas would have emerged in first place with 19.9 per cent, followed by Smer with 15.8 per cent. Progressive Slovakia, a non-parliamentary party led by MEP Michal Šimečka, would have ended in third place with 10.3 per cent and the far-right Republika party, led by MEP Milan Uhrík, would have been in fourth place with 7.9 per cent, according to the latest Focus poll for TV Markíza, published on Sunday. Five other parties would have cleared the threshold to enter parliament, including OĽaNO and Sme Rodina, the two main parties in the current governing coalition.
Here are some more stories from The Slovak Spectator website
- Ukraine: Slovakia is ready to give its grounded MiG-29 jets to Ukraine, Foreign Minister Rastislav Káčer said. The practicalities of the transfer are being discussed with NATO partners, the ČTK agency wrote. The jets are not part of the Slovak government-approved winter aid package for Ukraine.
- Refugees: Ukrainian refugees in Slovakia no longer receive financial assistance from international organisations. Instead, the state has taken over this responsibility again, but its support is less generous.
- Museum: Košice will open a new museum that will bear the name of the prominent Slovak sculptor Ján Mathé.
- Travel: A new shelter with a solar charger for electric bikes will be built near Lučenec in the south of central Slovakia.
FEATURE STORY FOR MONDAY
Which are the largest firms in Slovakia?
Hundreds of companies and institutions filled out questionnaires for the 2022 Largest in Business yearbook, which is available in our online shop.
The rankings provide ratings in 50 different categories and show which sectors or companies have grown the most.
In this story, you can find out which company paid the most in taxes, what event will shake up the rankings in the category of shopping malls next year, as well as what change occurred among the firms that recruit company directors.
If you have suggestions on how this news digest can be improved, you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OTHER MONDAY NEWS IN A FEW LINES:
- This past weekend, snowfall and strong winds in eastern Slovakia caused power outages and traffic problems. You can check the weather forecast and warnings for the coming days here.
- The Bratislava band Berlin Manson was attacked by a group of clubgoers in Skalica, western Slovakia, just before a weekend concert when they hung a rainbow flag on stage. In mid-October, two LGBT+ people were killed in a targeted attack in Bratislava. (Startitup)
- A new centre that will service and repair Ukrainian weapons used in its defence against Russia, such as howitzers and anti-aircraft systems, has launched operations in Michalovce, eastern Slovakia, German Brigadier General Christian Freuding said during a visit to Slovakia. (TASR)
- From December 11, trains in Slovakia will operate to a new schedule, shortening journey times on numerous routes.
- The Hungarian MOL refinery will sell its 39 filling stations in Slovakia to PKN Orlen, a Polish company, in the coming months.
- Slovakia has signed a purchase contract with Sweden to buy 152 tracked CV90 military vehicles for €1.7 billion. It is the second largest defence purchase since the Pellegrini government signed a contract for the purchase of American F-16 jets in 2018.
Thank you for being with The Slovak Spectator tonight. Have a nice evening.
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Correction: An earlier version of the news digest misstated Vorobelová's first name. It is Slavěna, not Slavomíra.