Soaring power costs leave Slovakia economy at risk of collapse, PM tells FT

Soaring power costs leave Slovakia economy at risk of collapse, PM tells FT

Sept 28 (Reuters) - Slovakia's Prime Minister Eduard Heger said that soaring electricity costs had left the country's economy at risk of "collapse", the Financial Times reported on Wednesday. Heger said that the increase in prices following Russia's invasion of Ukraine would "kill" the country's economy unless it received billions of euros of support from Brussels, FT quoted Heger as saying in an interview. Heger also warned he would be forced to nationalise the country's power supplies if this was not forthcoming, the report added. (Reporting by Anirudh Saligrama in Bengaluru; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)
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Czech government backs plan to help protect Slovakia’s air space

Czech government backs plan to help protect Slovakia’s air space

PRAGUE, July 27 (Reuters) - The Czech government has backed allowing its fighter jets to protect neighbouring Slovakia's air space from September, the Defence Ministry said on Wednesday. Slovakia has sought help from its NATO allies as it looks to ground its Russian-made MiG-29 fighter jets in August under long-standing plans to modernise the military. Slovak government officials have said the old jets could be sent to neighbouring Ukraine to help Kyiv defend itself against Russia's invasion. From September, the Czech army's Gripen JAS-39 fighter jets will provide air policing for Slovakia until at least the end of 2023, the…
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Slovakia’s junior coalition party threatens to quit government

Slovakia’s junior coalition party threatens to quit government

A junior partner in Slovakia's ruling coalition, the liberal SaS party, threatened to pull out of the government if finance minister Igor Matovic does not step down by the end of August. SaS has 19 lawmakers in the 150-seat Slovak parliament and its departure would deprive Prime Minister Eduard Heger's government of a majority. Matovic is chairman of the prime minister's OlANO party. "Our coalition's biggest problem is called Igor Matovic... Prime Minister Eduard Heger should be solving the problem, unfortunately, nothing is happening," SaS leader and Economy Minister Richard Sulik said at a televised news conference after his party…
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Volvo to create 3,300 jobs at $1.25 bln EV plant in Slovakia

Volvo to create 3,300 jobs at $1.25 bln EV plant in Slovakia

OSLO (Reuters) - Volvo Car Group  will invest 1.2 billion euros ($1.25 billion) to build an electric vehicle (EV) plant in Slovakia, the Sweden-based automaker said. The site, Slovakia's fifth, will bolster its standing as the biggest car producer per capita in the world, with the central European country of 5.4 million producing more than 1 million cars in 2021. For Volvo Cars, it will be its third plant in Europe and will build EVs only, in line with the company's ambition to produce EVs exclusively by the end of this decade. The European Union aims to phase out new fossil fuel…
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Slovakia says hardest hit by Russia oil sanctions, expects solidarity

Slovakia says hardest hit by Russia oil sanctions, expects solidarity

PRAGUE, June 3 (Reuters) - Slovakia said on Friday it would be hardest hit by European Union sanctions on Russian oil and it expected solidarity from Brussels to mitigate the impact. The economy ministry said Slovakia had sought a three-year derogation on trade in piped Russian oil and oil products, but was unsuccessful as tough sanctions were approved with the aim of hitting Russian revenues following its invasion of Ukraine. "The embargo ... was approved in a version with direct impact on the market for motor fuels and their production in Slovakia," the ministry said in a statement. "Within the declared solidarity…
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Jill Biden will meet Ukrainian refugees in Romania, Slovakia on Mother’s Day

Jill Biden will meet Ukrainian refugees in Romania, Slovakia on Mother’s Day

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - United States first lady Jill Biden left Washington on Thursday for a whirlwind tour of Romania and Slovakia to highlight the U.S. commitment to Ukrainian refugees over Mother’s Day weekend. The wife of President Joe Biden was due to meet U.S. service members and embassy personnel, displaced Ukrainian parents and children, humanitarian aid workers and teachers during the four-day trip, her office said. Biden, who teaches English and writing at a community college in Virginia, will also meet Romania’s first lady, Carmen Iohannis, an English teacher, as well as the president of Slovakia Zuzana Caputova. On Sunday,…
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UPDATED: Slovakia, seeking exemption, wants three-year transition for EU’s Russian oil embargo

UPDATED: Slovakia, seeking exemption, wants three-year transition for EU’s Russian oil embargo

May 4 (Reuters) - Slovakia wants a three-year transition period for it to phase in the European Union's proposed oil embargo on Russia, Economy Minister Richard Sulik said on Wednesday. Slovakia, highly reliant on Russian crude supplies, supported the EU's sanctions, Sulik said, but was still seeking an exemption to give it time to secure alternative oil supplies. The European Commission's proposed measures include phasing out supplies of Russian crude oil within six months and refined products by the end of 2022.  Hungary and Slovakia will be able to continue buying Russian crude oil until the end of 2023 under existing contracts,…
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EU may offer Hungary, Slovakia exemptions from Russian oil embargo

EU may offer Hungary, Slovakia exemptions from Russian oil embargo

The European Commission may spare Hungary and Slovakia from an embargo on buying Russian oil, now under preparation, wary of how dependent the two countries are on Russian crude, two EU officials said on Monday. The Commission is expected to finalise on Tuesday work on the next, and sixth package of EU sanctions against Russia over its actions in Ukraine, which would include a ban on buying Russian oil, because oil exports are a major source of Moscow's revenue. Hungary, heavily dependent on Russian oil, has repeatedly said it would not sign up to sanctions involving energy. Slovakia is also one of…
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Slovakia sends its air defence system to Ukraine

Slovakia sends its air defence system to Ukraine

Slovakia has donated its S-300 air defence system to Ukraine, Prime Minister Eduard Heger revealed, after the United States said more than 30 countries were increasing military aid to Kyiv. Ukraine has repeatedly appealed to Western nations for air defence weaponry and heavy ground military equipment to help repel the 6-week-long Russian military onslaught. "I can confirm that Slovakia donated the S-300 air defence system to Ukraine based on its request to help in self defence due to armed aggression from the Russian Federation," Heger said in a statement. https://www.facebook.com/president.gov.ua/videos/518221013210144 NATO member Slovakia has been operating one battery of the…
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Slovakia starts deploying Patriot air defence system

Slovakia starts deploying Patriot air defence system

The Patriot air defence system has started arriving in Slovakia from NATO partner countries and the deployment will continue in the coming days, Slovakia's defence minister said on Sunday. The system will be operated by German and Dutch troops and will initially be deployed at the Sliac airport in central Slovakia to help reinforce the defence of NATO's eastern flank. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has prompted the alliance to bolster its defences. The Patriot system will be part of a new NATO battlegroup in Slovakia, which neighbours Ukraine. "I am happy to confirm that the first units in charge of…
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More than 90,000 crossed into Slovakia from Ukraine since invasion

More than 90,000 crossed into Slovakia from Ukraine since invasion

Slovakia has registered 90,329 people crossing its border from Ukraine since the Russian invasion began on Feb. 24, police said on Friday. In the previous 24 hours to Friday morning, 11,279 had crossed, a similar amount to previous days, police said. More than 167,600 Ukrainians have fled to Romania in the first eight days since Russia invaded Ukraine, border police data showed on Friday. They have entered Romania through its four land border checkpoints with Ukraine, but also through its checkpoints with Moldova, data showed. Of them, 109,687 have already driven or flown out of Romania. Romanian authorities said on…
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Czech, Slovak governments increase military aid to Ukraine

Czech, Slovak governments increase military aid to Ukraine

PRAGUE, Feb 27 (Reuters) - The Czech government on Sunday increased military aid to Ukraine as it battles Russian troops, backing an additional package worth 400 million crowns ($18.23 million), while Slovakia also approved a second aid shipment in as many days. Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala and Defence Minister Jana Cernochova both declined to detail the contents of the newest aid approved on Sunday due to security concerns. But they said it was more than light weapons which were part of a shipment approved on Saturday, and Fiala said the aid would immediately help Ukraine's defences.  "We are in an environment…
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Slovakia to lift almost all remaining Covid-19 restrictions

Slovakia to lift almost all remaining Covid-19 restrictions

The government of Slovakia has decided on the further easing of Covid-19 restrictions, meaning that almost all measures will be lifted in the country from Saturday. From that day, sporting and cultural events will once again be accessible without proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test. Such entry requirements will also be dropped for restaurants. Restrictions on group sizes will remain in some areas and people must continue to wear masks in indoor spaces and on public transport. An FFP2 mask must also be worn at major events outdoors if social-distancing of at least two metres is not possible.…
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Slovakia posts record daily rise in COVID cases

Slovakia posts record daily rise in COVID cases

PRAGUE, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Slovakia on Wednesday reported over 20,000 new COVID-19 infections in one day for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic started, hit like others in central Europe by the spread of the Omicron variant. Slovakia, a country of 5.5 million, recorded 20,224 new COVID cases through PCR testing during Tuesday, the Health Ministry said. It said around 61% were among unvaccinated people. (Reporting by Jason Hovet; Editing by Kevin Liffey) Photo - Women walk on bank of Danube River in Bratislava, Slovakia. EPA-EFE/MARTIN DIVISEK
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Slovak government approves defence treaty with United States

Slovak government approves defence treaty with United States

PRAGUE, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Slovakia's government has approved a defence agreement with the United States, setting the framework for potential use of its air bases by its NATO partner but not leading to any concrete deployments, ministers said on Wednesday. The agreement, which the Slovak government said follows similar treaties by 23 other NATO countries including all those on the alliance's eastern border, still needs the president's signature and ratification by the country's parliament. "This is an important sign that the government is acting responsibly in foreign, security and defence policies," Foreign Minister Ivan Korcok told a news conference.…
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Slovakia’s COVID-19 case record inflated by system glitch

Slovakia’s COVID-19 case record inflated by system glitch

Slovakia reported 15,278 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, the highest number in a single day since the pandemic broke out, but the Health Ministry said a technical issue inflated the number. "The reason for today's high number of positive test results is additional data, which did not pass from laboratories to the information system on Nov. 30," the ministry said. The ministry did not specify the actual number of cases detected on Thursday. The country of 5.5 million has 3,404 people hospitalised with the illness, including 630 in intensive care. Slovakia has one of the European Union's lowest rates of…
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Slovakia reports record 15,278 new daily COVID-19 cases

Slovakia reports record 15,278 new daily COVID-19 cases

PRAGUE, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Slovakia reported 15,278 new COVID-19 cases, the highest number in a single day since the pandemic broke out, health ministry data showed on Friday. The country of 5.5 million has 3,404 people hospitalised with the illness, including 630 in intensive care. Slovakia has one of European Union’s lowest rates of vaccination uptake. (Reporting by Robert Muller; editing by John Stonestreet) Photo - People wearing protective face masks walk during a nationwide lockdown in Bratislava, Slovakia. The lockdown and the national emergency will last until at least 09 December. All restaurants and shops will be closed…
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Slovakia begins  two-week lockdown

Slovakia begins two-week lockdown

Slovakia began a two-week lockdown on Thursday as new COVID-19 cases have spiraled out of control Slovakia declared a 90-day state of emergency and a two-week lockdown following a spike in COVID-19 cases that saw the country’s seven-day average of cases rise above 10,000. The central European country is currently in the midst of the world’s fastest rise in infections, and the measures, which include closing all non-essential stores, as well as bars and restaurants, are meant to help the struggling healthcare system. The decision came after president Zuzana Čaputová addressed the nation on Tuesday, saying that “Slovakia is losing…
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Slovakia’s COVID cases rise by record as government prepares lockdown

Slovakia’s COVID cases rise by record as government prepares lockdown

Slovakia reported its highest daily rise in new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, just ahead of a government meeting likely to agree a short-term lockdown to quell the world's fastest surge in infections. Slovakia, a country of 5.5 million, has the highest per-capita infection rise in the world, according to figures from Our World in Data, as Europe becomes an epicentre of the pandemic again. Neighbouring Austria has already locked down its population this week, for at least 10 days, to become the first to re-impose such restrictions, and Slovakia was looking at taking a similar step on Wednesday when the…
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Czechs, Slovaks target unvaccinated people, talk of full lockdown intensifies

Czechs, Slovaks target unvaccinated people, talk of full lockdown intensifies

The Czech Republic and Slovakia banned unvaccinated people from hotels, pubs, hairdressers and most public events from Monday after COVID-19 cases filled hospital intensive-care wards, and were mulling harsher steps to stem the resurgent pandemic. The central European neighbours both acted a step behind Austria, which first set restrictions on unvaccinated people but went for a full lockdown on Monday as the region became the world's latest COVID-19 hotspot. Less than a day into the new system, Slovakia signalled it could indeed echo Austria with a three-week lockdown for all as Prime Minister Eduard Heger said he was "intensively" looking at the…
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Czech Republic and Slovakia tighten COVID-19 curbs for unvaccinated

Czech Republic and Slovakia tighten COVID-19 curbs for unvaccinated

The Czech Republic and Slovakia tightened restrictions on people who have not had COVID-19 shots to try to encourage more to get vaccinated and ease the burden on hospitals. The measures echo steps taken against unvaccinated people in Austria and parts of Germany as Europe faces rising infections. The Czech government approved plans to allow only those who are vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 in the past six months to enter restaurants, attend certain events and use various other services from Monday. Slovakia took a similar step, in what Prime Minister Eduard Heger called a "lockdown for the unvaccinated".…
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Slovakia considers new COVID-19 steps as hospital admissions rise

Slovakia considers new COVID-19 steps as hospital admissions rise

PRAGUE, Nov 11 (Reuters) - A rise in the number of COVID-19 patients increased strains on hospitals in Slovakia on Thursday, as parliament debated a law that would allow stricter measures to curb the pandemic. The central European country of 5.5 million reported 6,546 new COVID-19 cases, slightly less than the record 7,055 reported on Wednesday, and 2,532 people in total had been admitted to hospitals, the health ministry said. Some hospitals are now having to limit non-urgent care. Slovakia has been tightening restrictions as cases rise but the measures taken have been less tight than during previous waves of…
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Czechs, Slovaks report surge in COVID-19 cases, hospitals stretched

Czechs, Slovaks report surge in COVID-19 cases, hospitals stretched

The Czech Republic and Slovakia reported fresh surges in coronavirus infections on Wednesday and again had to start limiting non-urgent hospital care to cater for admissions of COVID-19 patients. Slovakia, a country of 5.5 million, reported a record high 7,055 new cases for Tuesday, and the Czech Republic, twice the size, reported 14,539 cases, not far from an all-time peak seen in January. Both countries have been tightening restrictions but they have been far more lax than in previous waves thanks to partial shielding from vaccination and infections affecting younger people. But hospitals, especially in northern Slovakia, have reported strained…
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Croatia, Slovenia, and Slovakia hit highest number of daily COVID-19 infections

Croatia, Slovenia, and Slovakia hit highest number of daily COVID-19 infections

Croatia reported on Thursday 6,310 infections of COVID-19 which is the highest daily number of infections since the beginning of the pandemic, the national health authorities said. At the moment there are 25,628 active COVID-19 cases in a country of around 4 million people, while 1,680 patients require hospital treatment. In Croatia a bit over 50% of population is fully vaccinated and experts largely blame such a low vaccination rate for the increase in infections in recent weeks. In neighbouring Slovenia, the authorities also reported the highest number of daily COVID-19 cases, with 4,511 infections. Also in Slovenia just slightly…
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Slovak ECB policymaker Kazimir charged with ‘corruption-related crime’

Slovak ECB policymaker Kazimir charged with ‘corruption-related crime’

Slovak prosecutors confirmed on Wednesday that ECB policymaker and Slovak central bank Governor Peter Kazimir had been charged with a corruption-related crime. "A prosecutor at the special prosecution office brought charges against P.K. for corruption-related crime on Oct. 8," said Jana Tokolyova, spokesperson for the Special Prosecutor's Office. She gave no further details. Kazimir denied wrongdoing on Tuesday and said he would defend himself against the charges. The Slovak central bank did not comment beyond Kazimir's statement. The Finance Ministry said on Wednesday it would comment later. ECB Governing Council members can be removed if they have been found guilty…
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Pope Francis wraps up trip to Hungary and Slovakia

Pope Francis wraps up trip to Hungary and Slovakia

Pope Francis wrapped up on Wednesday his trip to Hungary and Slovakia, during which he urged the predominantly Catholic countries not to close up and to avoid using religion for politics. On the last day of his journey, Francis presided over an open air Mass for more than 50,000 people at a national shrine in Western Slovakia, traditionally popular with women in difficult marriages. The shrine of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows in Sastin, near the borders with the Czech Republic and Austria, has its origins in the 16th century when, according to a legend, the wife of a…
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Limit Mass homilies to ten minutes, urges Pope Francis

Limit Mass homilies to ten minutes, urges Pope Francis

Addressing the bishops and clergy of Slovakia in the Cathedral of St Martin, in Bratislava, Pope Francis urged priests not to exceed ten minutes during their Sunday homilies. He also exhorted the members of the clergy to be better prepared with their message, which should be coherent, presenting an idea, an image and something people can relate to, something which moves their hearts. "The homily is not a Sacrament", Francis explained. "It is not a sermon, but an integral part of the Eucharist." However, he insisted that the homily should not go beyond ten, maximum 15 minutes, because after eight…
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Slovakia’s bishops relax vaccine rules around Papal visit

Slovakia’s bishops relax vaccine rules around Papal visit

Slovakia has widened registration for public events planned during a visit by Pope Francis that begins on Sunday to allow some people not vaccinated against COVID-19 also to attend. Pope Francis is due to arrive in mainly Roman Catholic Slovakia on Sept. 12 for a visit culminating in an open-air Mass at the Sastin pilgrimage site in western Slovakia on Sept. 15. Some 43% of people in the country of 5.5 million have so far been fully vaccinated or have received their first shot against COVID-19. The Conference of Slovak Bishops said non-vaccinated people who have tested negative or who…
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Slovakia court orders businessman’s retrial over journalist murder

Slovakia court orders businessman’s retrial over journalist murder

Slovakia’s Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered a retrial of a businessman acquitted over the 2018 murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee, following an appeal from prosecutors. Citing a lack of evidence, a lower court last year acquitted Marian Kocner in a case that shook Slovakia and led to mass protests against graft in government. Kuciak, 27, and Martina Kusnirova were gunned down in their home outside Bratislava. Prosecutors allege that Kocner, the subject of Kuciak’s articles on graft involving politically connected entrepreneurs, had ordered the killing due to Kuciak’s reporting. Kocner has repeatedly denied the charge. Judge…
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Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Czech Republic launch Pro-family coalition

Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Czech Republic launch Pro-family coalition

The four Central European countries that make up the Visegrad Group – Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic – today launched a “pro-family coalition” at an event in Warsaw. They aim to promote family policies at the local, national and EU level. Hosted by Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki and attended by the ministers responsible for family policy in each of the four countries, the event comes ahead of the International Day of Families, which was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 and is observed on 15 May. “For us, family is the foundation,” said Morawiecki, who…
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Slovakia suspends use of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as a recipient dies

Slovakia suspends use of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as a recipient dies

lovakia's Health Ministry said on Tuesday it was suspending the use of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine for people getting their first doses, after experts reviewed the death of a recipient. The state drug regulator, SUKL, said last week that the death of a 47-year-old woman was likely to be connected to the vaccine because of a predisposition that she had. "The Health Ministry is considering various options at the moment, how to proceed with this issue," spokeswoman Zuzana Eliasova said. "At the moment, people waiting for their second dose are being inoculated with the AstraZeneca vaccine." She said further steps would…
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Russia calls on Slovakia to return Sputnik V doses after dispute

Russia calls on Slovakia to return Sputnik V doses after dispute

PRAGUE/MOSCOW, April 8 (Reuters) - Russia called on Slovakia on Thursday to return hundreds of thousands of doses of the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, citing contract violations, in an escalating row between the two countries after a Slovak watchdog raised doubts about the shot. Earlier on Thursday, Slovakia's SUKL drug agency said the batches of Sputnik V vaccines it had received differed from those reviewed by international scientists and by the European Union regulator. Slovakia imported 200,000 doses of Sputnik V last month, the second European Union nation to do so after Hungary, despite a lack of EU regulatory approval.…
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Slovakia’s COVID-19 death toll passes 10,000

Slovakia’s COVID-19 death toll passes 10,000

Slovakia said on Sunday the death toll from COVID-19 has passed 10,000 in the central European country of 5.5 million. Slovakia has been hit hard by the latest wave of the pandemic although the infection rate and hospitalisations from the virus have eased somewhat in the past few weeks. It reported 77 new deaths on Sunday, bringing the total to 10,025 since the pandemic first struck in March 2020. Slovakia, like others in central Europe, had got through the initial outbreak a year ago with relatively few infections and deaths, but has seen a surge this year that has strained…
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Photo Story: New Slovak government sworn in

Photo Story: New Slovak government sworn in

Slovak President Zuzana Caputova (8-R) and members of the new Slovak government leading by Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger (8-L) pose for photo during appointment ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Bratislava, Slovakia, 01 April 2021. Eduard Heger, member of the Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OLaNO) party, became Prime Minister of the new government after the disagreement of former Prime Minister Matovic with his coalition partners about the COVID-19 pandemic management and the agreement to acquire two million doses of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine. Slovak President Zuzana Caputova (R) appoints Igor Matovic (L) as a new Slovak Finance Minister…
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Slovak Prime Minister Matovic offers to swap places with Finance Minister Heger

Slovak Prime Minister Matovic offers to swap places with Finance Minister Heger

Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic said on Sunday that he would offer to swap places with Finance Minister Eduard Heger, a party colleague, in an attempt to resolve a crisis within his governing coalition. Matovic said he had decided to drop all previous conditions for his resignation. He and Heger are from the coalition's strongest party, OLANO. Slovakia has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, and the crisis erupted after Matovic ordered a shipment of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine without his coalition partners' knowledge. (Reporting by Robert Muller; Editing by Kevin Liffey)
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Slovak foreign minister resigns as government crumbles

Slovak foreign minister resigns as government crumbles

Slovak Foreign Minister Ivan Korcok resigned on Wednesday amid a crisis threatening the four-party government led by Prime Minister Igor Matovic, Korcok's party said. Korcok is the sixth minister to quit the cabinet since a coalition row erupted at the start of March. It was sparked by Matovic's bypassing his coalition partners and ordering Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, which has not been cleared for usage by the European Union's medicines agency, EMA. The crisis hits the country of 5.5 million as it slowly emerges from its worst coronavirus wave to date, which has overfilled hospitals and put Slovakia among…
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Slovak party leader quits to back demands for prime minister to go

Slovak party leader quits to back demands for prime minister to go

The leader of a junior Slovak coalition party said on Monday he was resigning as economy minister to help resolve a political crisis which has shaken Prime Minister Igor Matovic's government. Richard Sulik's announcement comes a day after Matovic offered his own resignation, with conditions, as his government has been reeling from a dispute sparked by a purchase of Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine which has not been cleared by the European Union drug regulator. "This resignation is for Igor Matovic to see that we are prepared … for a reconstruction of the cabinet including the prime minister," Sulik told…
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Slovak PM prepared to step down to resolve coalition crisis but sets conditions

Slovak PM prepared to step down to resolve coalition crisis but sets conditions

Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic said on Sunday he was prepared to step down to resolve a crisis in his four-party coalition, if his coalition partners agreed to conditions including a cabinet seat for himself. The year-old, four-party coalition has suffered from disputes over Matovic's management style, which boiled over earlier this month when he ordered shipments of the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine without his partners' knowledge. "If coalition partners meet the commitments that they have publicly declared, and that is what our demands are based on, I am willing to step down as the chairman of the cabinet…
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Slovak health minister resigns amid government row and COVID surge

Slovak health minister resigns amid government row and COVID surge

PRAGUE, March 11 (Reuters) - Slovak Health Minister Marek Krajci said on Thursday he would resign, as the government tries to move past a coalition row while it tackling one of the world's most severe rates of COVID-19 infections and deaths. Slovakia's four-party ruling coalition was thrown into turmoil last week when Prime Minister Igor Matovic bypassed partners and ordered shipments of the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine. (Reporting by Robert Muller and Jason Hovet; Editing by Kevin Liffey)
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Slovak PM says lives at stake as he pushes EU to speed up vaccine approvals

Slovak PM says lives at stake as he pushes EU to speed up vaccine approvals

PRAGUE, March 9 (Reuters) - Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic warned the European Union drug agency that lives were at stake as he pressed it to work round the clock to speed up vaccine approvals if it did not want member states to use unapproved shots as Slovakia plans to. European Medicines Agency managing board head Christa Wirthumer-Hoche said on Sunday EU members should refrain from granting national approvals for the Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V while the agency reviews its safety and effectiveness. This was after Matovic, bypassing his government partners and thus sparking a political crisis at home,…
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Slovakia to tighten anti-COVID measures

Slovakia to tighten anti-COVID measures

Slovak government will tighten anti-epidemic measures from March 3, including stricter limits on people’s movement, as the country struggles with the resurgent coronavirus. The government of Prime Minister Igor Matovic released details of the new measures after several days of debates with experts as the country has ranked among the world’s worst-hit by the recent wave of COVID-19 cases. As of Wednesday, people will be allowed to travel from 8:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. only to work or to see a doctor, while all currently valid exceptions from the limits on movement will be effective only between 5:00 a.m. and…
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Three men from Slovakia to be arraigned in Malta charged with the kidnap of a Slovak man

Three men from Slovakia to be arraigned in Malta charged with the kidnap of a Slovak man

Three men from Slovakia were arrested after allegedly kidnapping a Slovak man and detained him for some against his will. The operation was carried following a joint investigation between the Sliema and Qawra District Police. According to the police, investigations revealed that the victim, a 30-year-old man, was approached on Wednesday evening by three people in Triq is-Salib, Mellieħa. Afterwards they made him go in a car in Triq il-Garżella, tied his hands and from there they drove to the area known as tat-Tunnara, in Mellieħa. There the victim was tied to a tree where they allegedly started threatening him…
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AT&T to cut Slovakia workforce, unions expect 300 jobs to go

AT&T to cut Slovakia workforce, unions expect 300 jobs to go

AT&T plans to cut its workforce in Slovakia as the COVID-19 pandemic hits customer demand, the company said on Monday, with unions saying that 10% of jobs may be affected. AT&T Global Network Services Slovakia has operated in the central European country for more than a decade, providing customer support, network engineering and other services. The U.S. company employs around 2,800 people in the country of 5.5 million, where unemployment has risen to 7.4%, from 5.2%, since the global coronavirus pandemic hit in March. AT&T said in a statement it was working to "manage the impact on our people" from…
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Slovak Supreme Court to review alleged masterminds’ not-guilty verdict for murder of Slovak journalist Kuciak

Slovak Supreme Court to review alleged masterminds’ not-guilty verdict for murder of Slovak journalist Kuciak

News Site Transitions reports that the acquittal of Marian Kocner and Alena Zsuzsova in the widely watched murder trial related to the murder Jan Kuciak and his fiancee, Martina Kusnirova was accompanied with great frustration by the people who had followed the case in great detail for the past two years. Kuciak and fiancee were shot in their home on 21 February 2018. Four months passed since the first verdict, which was delivered under the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic. epa08081564 Marian Kocner (C) leaves the courtroom after a preliminary hearing of an indictment before the main trial concerning the…
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No work without COVID test in central Slovakia as hospitals overflow worst-hit region

No work without COVID test in central Slovakia as hospitals overflow worst-hit region

Slovaks in the country’s central Nitra region would not be allowed to work unless they have tested negative for the coronavirus as the area’s main hospital was inundated with COVID patients and deaths were high, officials said. The central European country of 5.5 million has seen record numbers of new cases and hospitalisations in the past days, with 3,146 people in hospitals as of Monday, despite a partial national lockdown. People from the Nitra region of about 160,000 would not be allowed to attend work as of Monday without a negative test, Prime Minister Igor Matovic told a televised news…
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Slovak prime minister Matovic tests positive for COVID-19

Slovak prime minister Matovic tests positive for COVID-19

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic said on Friday he had COVID-19, a week after attending a summit with French President Emmanuel Macron who later tested positive for the disease. Matovic, 47, posted a message showing his positive test and an order to observe 10 days of isolation on Facebook, but did not say where he had been infected. The government office said he had cancelled all events for the coming days but gave no details of the circumstances behind him being tested. Matovic did not mention having any symptoms. The announcement on Thursday that Macron had tested…
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Slovakia orders schools, most shops to shut from Dec 21 as COVID-19 cases rise

Slovakia orders schools, most shops to shut from Dec 21 as COVID-19 cases rise

PRAGUE (Reuters) -Slovakia on Wednesday ordered schools and most shops closed for at least three weeks from Dec. 21 as the number of COVID-19 cases continued to rise. The central European country also ordered outside seating at restaurants to end from Dec. 11, only allowing take-away.  It introduced a requirement to show negative COVID-19 tests at hotels and ski lifts from Dec. 14 and ordered regular testing at large companies to start from Dec 28. "Unfortunately the situation has been worsening in the past days and it will continue to worsen in the coming days," Health Minister Marek Krajci said…
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Athletics Malta in drive to attract sports tourism as Slovak stars hold training camp in Malta

Athletics Malta in drive to attract sports tourism as Slovak stars hold training camp in Malta

Two of Slovakia’s rising athletic stars, Martin Kučera and Šimon Bujna, together with their coach, Radoslav Ivan, are currently in Malta for a four-week training camp to finalise their preparations for the upcoming indoor season. The national association, Athletics Malta, which has facilitated this camp, is striving hard to secure similar training camps in Malta, and has big ambitions for the upcoming years, with its committee hard at work to secure stronger investment in athletics’ facilities which would strengthen the possibility of attracting such events in Malta. Two  such confirmed events is the hosting of an International Meeting of European…
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Over 2.5 million Slovaks take part on first day of nationwide COVID-19 testing

Over 2.5 million Slovaks take part on first day of nationwide COVID-19 testing

Nearly half of Slovakia's entire population took COVID-19 swabs on Saturday, the first day of two-day nationwide testing the government hopes will help reverse a fast rise in infections without a hard lockdown. The scheme, a first in a country of comparable size, is being watched by other nations looking for ways to slow the virus spread and avoid overwhelming their health systems. Defence Minister Jaroslav Nad said on Sunday 2.58 million Slovaks took the test on Saturday, and 25,850 or 1% tested positive and must go into quarantine. People wait in lines at a coronavirus testing site during a…
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Million line up as Slovakia launches unique nationwide COVID-19 test

Million line up as Slovakia launches unique nationwide COVID-19 test

Over a million Slovaks took a coronavirus swab on Saturday as the country launched a huge logistical operation to test most of its population over the weekend to reverse a rise in the pandemic. Authorities say the ambitious plan to test most citizens aged over 10 among Slovakia's 5.5 million people is the first of its kind in a country of its size. It is being watched by other nations looking for ways to slow the virus spread and avoid overwhelming their health systems. More than 40,000 medics and support teams of soldiers, police, administrative workers and volunteers staffed around…
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Slovakia orders partial lockdown

Slovakia orders partial lockdown

Slovakia will impose a partial lockdown to halt the spread of coronavirus infections, Prime Mister Igor Matovic said on Thursday. The lockdown will be imposed from Oct. 24 until Nov. 1, he said. People will still be allowed to leave for work, essential shopping and services and for trips to nature near home.
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Slovak far-right leader sentenced to four years jail for spreading hate

Slovak far-right leader sentenced to four years jail for spreading hate

Slovakia's far-right leader Marian Kotleba, whose party holds 14 seats in parliament, was sentenced to four years and four months jail on Monday for spreading hatred by holding a charity stunt that the court concluded had a Nazi theme. Kotleba, a member of parliament and former regional governor who founded a far right party, was accused of distributing cheques to poor families for 1,488 euros at an event marking the anniversary of the founding of Slovakia's Nazi-era puppet state. The number 1488 is a symbol for white supremacists, referring to a 14-word racist slogan and the Nazi salute 'Heil Hitler', which…
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Slovakia to step up measures against coronavirus – health minister

Slovakia to step up measures against coronavirus – health minister

Slovakia will put in place stricter measures from Thursday to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, including a requirement to wear face masks in public and limits to public gatherings, its health minister said on Sunday. The country has reported a sharp increase in new coronavirus cases in recent days, recording 19,851 cases on Saturday, up from 13,139 over the week. The Crisis Committee adopted a set of measures aimed mostly at preventing people from gathering in large groups, including requiring the wearing of masks in residential areas when closer than 5 metres (16 feet) to people other than…
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Army called in to help as Slovak COVID-19 infections keep rising

Army called in to help as Slovak COVID-19 infections keep rising

Slovakia reported another daily record number of new coronavirus infections on Friday, prompting the government to call up hundreds of troops to help public health officials and warn of tighter restrictions on public life. Some 1,184 newly infected people were identified on Thursday, the government said on Friday, bringing the total in the country of 5.5 million to 16,910. It has reported 57 deaths so far with 370 hospitalised as of Thursday. “I am beginning to be concerned whether the measures adopted can be effective with such marked growth in the numbers of positive people,” Prime Minister Igor Matovic told…
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Poland, Russia, and Slovakia report record number of new daily coronavirus infections

Poland, Russia, and Slovakia report record number of new daily coronavirus infections

Poland, Russia, and Slovakia on Thursday all reported a record number of new daily coronavirus infections Poland reported a record number of new daily coronavirus infections on Thursday, with the Health Ministry announcing 1,967 new cases. For the past week, Poland has seen more than 1,000 new cases per day. The authorities announced a previous record 1,587 new infections on Friday. Since the start of the pandemic, Poland has recorded 93,481 coronavirus infections with 2,543 deaths in total.  Slovakia had 797 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, a record daily tally for a second straight day, Prime Minister Igor Matovic said…
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Slovakia reports record spike in coronavirus cases

Slovakia reports record spike in coronavirus cases

Slovakia on Saturday reported a spike of 226 cases of the new coronavirus, the biggest one-day rise in the central European country since the start of the pandemic. The jump comes as neighbours in the region have also seen record rises in virus cases after the summer holidays and as students return to school. Officials are seeking to avoid large-scale lockdowns similar to those seen at the start of the outbreak, which hammered economic activity. On Saturday, the Czech Republic recorded 798 new cases, its biggest daily rise so far, while Hungary reported a record 510 new cases. Slovakia’s death…
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Slovak court finds businessman innocent of murder of journalist Jan Kuciak

Slovak court finds businessman innocent of murder of journalist Jan Kuciak

A Slovak court ruled on Thursday that an influential businessman was not guilty in the case of the murder of journalist Jan Kuciak, the presiding judge said. The court found one other defendant guilty of taking part in the murder, but did not find evidence the hit was ordered by businessman Marian Kocner. Kocner and Alena Zsuzsova were acquitted of charges related to the murders of Jan Kuciak and Martina Kusnirová. The court said on September 3 that that the deed happened, but it has not been proven that they had committed the crime. Tomas Szabo and Kocner have been found…
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Possible verdict today in Slovakia in case of journalist Jan Kuciak murder

Possible verdict today in Slovakia in case of journalist Jan Kuciak murder

A Slovak court is expected to rule on Thursday on whether an influential businessman ordered the murder of an investigative journalist, in a case that prompted mass street protests and led to the reshaping of the country’s political landscape. The killing of Jan Kuciak, 27, and his fiancee Martina Kusnirova forced then prime minister and longtime leader Robert Fico to step down, and ushered in a new government in March this year whose main election promise was to clean up sleaze. The couple were gunned down in their home outside Bratislava in February 2018, in a killing that mirrored the…
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