News digest: Face of Velvet Revolution explains his controversial past

Slovakia's 'golden goose', how to help children thrive, and Bratislava Castle will host a display about late pop singer.

Good evening. Here is the Thursday, February, 2 edition of Today in Slovakia - the main news of the day in less than five minutes.

Minister Budaj's collaboration with secret police

Eight months before the early elections, interim Environment Minister Ján Budaj (OĽaNO) is being confronted with his past after a volume found in the Czech Republic has shown that he promised to collaborate with the ŠtB, the Czechoslovak communist secret service, in the late seventies.

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Budaj says that there is no evidence at all confirming that he would have passed on any reports about his close friends to the secret police. Historians backed the minister.

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The well-known Slovak personality from the times of the Velvet Revolution faced the same scandal in the nineties.

Other stories from The Slovak Spectator website

Bratislava: Parents pay more for kindergartens run by Bratislava boroughs this year.

Opinion: Good people are offering domestic work to Ukrainian refugees as a form of help. Soon we too will have our "Ukrainian ladies", writes social anthropologist Zuzana Sekeráková Búriková.

Blog: How to help children (and adults) thrive.

If you like what we are doing and want to support good journalism, buy our online subscription. Thank you.


Is Slovakia going to kill its 'golden goose'?

The partially state-owned gas pipeline operator Eustream, dubbed Slovakia's "golden goose" for its high contributions to the state coffers, may stop laying eggs.

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Bratislava Castle will host a new temporary exhibition on the late Slovak pop singer Miroslav Žbirka from February 4, called "Years and Days".

Listen to one of his biggest hits, "Atlantída".

In a few lines:

  • In January, the prosecutor of the Bratislava Regional Prosecutor's Office filed an indictment against businessman Marian Kočner in the Five Star Residence case. Kočner is serving a 19-year prison sentence for falsifying TV Markíza promissory notes. He is also facing indictment for the murder of journalist Ján Kuciak and planning the murders of prosecutors. (TASR)
  • Today, 11 Slovak MEPs sent a letter to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, urging them to look into the death of Slovak Jozef Chovanec in Belgium. The decision of the local prosecutor's office, that no one will be prosecuted in the case, is being described by the MEPs as unacceptable. (TASR)
  • On Wednesday, an investigator of the National Criminal Agency pressed bribery charges against former interior minister Robert Kaliňák and oligarch Jozef Brheľ Sr. Kaliňák had faced criminal charges in another case last year, but Prosecutor General Maroš Žilinka scrapped the charges by applying Paragraph 363. (TASR)
The production of new car plates in Banská Bystrica, central Slovakia, on February 2, 2023. Click on the picture to learn more about the new design of car plates. The production of new car plates in Banská Bystrica, central Slovakia, on February 2, 2023. Click on the picture to learn more about the new design of car plates. (Source: TASR - Ján Krošlák)

WEATHER FOR FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy. Snow, sleet or rain across the country. Daily temperature from -3°C to 2°C, in the west and in the south from 2°C to 7°C. Strong wind in some places. See where the orange and yellow weather warnings will apply tomorrow.

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