News digest: Who’s Afraid of Liberal Democracy?

The Slovak sprinter narrowly misses the medal and worries about who will take charge of foreign policy. Learn more in today’s roundup.

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Good evening. Here is the Thursday, August 18 edition of Today in Slovakia – the day’s main news in less than five minutes.

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Problem with the term liberal democracy

A seemingly innocent phrase in the “Concept for the Development of Civil Society in Slovakia for the Years 2022-2030” angered Attorney General Maroš Žilinka and Labor Minister Milan Krajniak.

“Civil society is an integral part of the system of liberal democracy,” is the opening of the document, but both men have a problem with the term “liberal democracy.”

According to political scientist Gregorij Mesežnikov, Krajniak’s objection is motivated by a disdain for liberal democracy while Žilinka’s is legal purity.

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Report for today

The Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party is about to leave the government. Even though the four parties that make up the government coalition are still in talks on a possible compromise, observers see little chance that the SaS ministers will remain in Prime Minister Eduard Heger’s cabinet.

If the four SaS ministers leave, Prime Minister Heger (OĽaNO) will have to appoint four new ministers of economy, education, justice and foreign affairs.

Foreign policy experts worry about the latter.

Korčok may soon step down as foreign minister. Who will then safeguard Slovakia’s foreign policy line? Read more

Picture of the day

The Uzh River flows through Ukraine and eastern Slovakia. It is 127 kilometers long, of which about 21 kilometers are in Slovakia. As the drought continues in Slovakia, the river level has dropped to just 6 centimeters in the village of Lekárovce in the Sobrance district.

In other news

  • Some places in Slovakia experienced a tropical night from Wednesday to Thursday, with temperatures not dropping below 20 degrees Celsius, reports the Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute (SHMÚ). For example, in the village of Plavecký Peter in western Slovakia, it was ten degrees Celsius earlier in the morning than at the same time the day before.
  • The SHMÚ has issued heat alerts for Friday August 19th. Third-level heat alerts have been issued for Nitra and Banská Bystrica regions with a warning that daily temperatures could reach 38 degrees Celsius. Second level alerts have been issued for the entire Bratislava and Trnava regions, and parts of the Trenčín, Košice and Prešov regions. First level alerts are in place for parts of northern Slovakia. Find out where to refresh yourself by following this link.
  • The extreme drought affected the nutritional value of grasses and plants, as well as the volume of vegetation, and consequently the animals in the pastures because they need to be fed, according to the nonprofit Regional Association for Nature Conservation and Sustainable Development. This will be a problem in previous years.
  • The water reservoirs of Liptovská Mara and Oravská priehrada in northern Slovakia are currently at 62% of their total volume. Europe, including Slovakia, is in the grip of a prolonged drought and reservoirs across the continent are experiencing low water levels.
  • A new primary school with Slovak as the main language of instruction was established in Šamorín in the Dunajská Streda district. Education Minister Branislav Gröhling noted that there have long been problems with access to education in Slovak in the district.
  • Nurses’ salaries will be significantly increased and additional payments based on professional experience will be introduced, according to Finance Minister Igor Matovič (OĽANO). However, the president of the Slovak Chamber of Nurses and Midwives, Iveta Lazorová, pointed out that until concrete sums and conditions for the salary increase were mentioned, nurses could not consider the news as good. Nurses, doctors and other health professionals are unhappy with the current situation in hospitals. Thousands of nurses left after the second wave of the pandemic.
  • The Public Health Office has issued a warning about a significant year-on-year increase in the number of tick-borne encephalitis cases in Slovakia, especially in the Banská Bystrica region. So far, there have been three outbreaks this season, with a total of 141 people infected. Last year there were only 92 cases. The disease affects the central nervous system and can be spread through certain foods such as unpasteurized products made from goat’s and sheep’s milk.
  • The maximum speed on the SNP bridge in the capital will be reduced from 60 to 50 kilometers per hour, according to Dagmar Schmucková, spokesperson for the Bratislava authorities. The change is related to the planned repair of the bridge.

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