MORNING NEWS HIGHLIGHTS - Tuesday, October 15, 2019 - 9 a.m.

15. októbra 2019 9:01
TASR brings a quick morning overview of the most important events seen in Slovakia on the previous day (Monday, October 14): BRATISLAVA - President Zuzana Caputova believes that information that can be obtained from a recording of a conversation between Marian K. and former prosecutor-general Dobroslav Trnka won't be left without a rapid and unambiguous response from the competent authorities, as everybody needs to believe that things will no longer work like this in Slovakia. BRATISLAVA - The recording of a conversation between former prosecutor-general Dobroslav Trnka and Marian K. has been sent for an expert examination, a source from the Police Corps confirmed for TASR on Monday. The police posted on a social network that an important witness has had their obligation of confidentiality lifted and will be questioned soon, without giving any details as to what case this concerns. BRATISLAVA - Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD) called upon individuals involved in recordings linked to the Gorilla scandal to search their consciences and consider resignation, TASR learnt on Monday. Speaking at a briefing prior to the Government's session, Pellegrini declared that no one will block police from genuinely investigating suspicions arising from the latest leaked recording of a conversation between Marian K. and ex-prosecutor-general Dobroslav Trnka. BRATISLAVA - It is not legally possible to suspend the tenure of prosecutor Dobroslav Trnka at the moment, seeing that no criminal charges have been pressed against him so far, TASR was told by Prosecutor-General's Office spokesperson Andrea Predajnova on Monday. Furthermore, it is not possible to apply a disciplinary motion because the activity discussed in the recording with Marian K. is already subject to the statute of limitations, said Predajnova. BRATISLAVA - The Government on Monday approved a draft budget drawn up by the Finance Ministry for upcoming years, according to which the general government deficit in 2020 should stand at 0.49 percent of GDP and at the same time admitted that the original goal of a balanced state budget for 2019 won"t be reached as the general government deficit should stand at 0.68 percent of GDP. Total income of the public sector for 2020 is budgeted at the level of €38.87 billion while total expenditure should stand at €39.35 billion, meaning that there should be a deficit of €480 million. The state budget is expected to manage a cash deficit of €2.68 billion. Total state income is projected to reach the level of €15.89 billion; and expenditure should be €18.57 billion. It"s expected that a balanced state budget will be feasible as of 2021. BRATISLAVA - The 2020 state budget draft greenlighted by the Government is the result of a compromise, Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD) stated on Monday. According to Pellegrini, the draft reflects on the slowdown of the economy and attempts to introduce austerity cuts in Government processes in order to guarantee social benefits for people. The Prime Minister emphasised that the "balanced budget cannot be treated as a fetish and the Cabinet won't cut and slash social benefits, all the more so with the debt already shrinking". BRATISLAVA - Had a general election taken place in Slovakia in first half of October, it would have been won by the current main governing party Smer-SD on 20.1 percent, with the Progressive Slovakia (PS)-Together coalition the runner-up on 12.7 percent and the far-right People's Party Our Slovakia (LSNS) third on 12.3 percent, according to the results of an AKO agency poll conducted on October 7-10. Fourth place in the October poll went to the party led by former president Andrej Kiska, For the People, on 12 percent, followed by Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) on 6.7 percent, the co-ruling Slovak National Party (SNS) on 6.4 percent, Boris Kollar's We Are Family on 5.9 percent, and OLaNO on 5.8 percent. The final party to make it into Parliament would have been the Christian Democrats (KDH) on 5.6 percent. BRATISLAVA - Year-on-year inflation in Slovakia amounted to 2.9 percent in September, with core inflation standing at 2.6 percent and net inflation at 2 percent, the Slovak Statistics Office reported on Monday. BRATISLAVA - F.D. Roosevelt Faculty Hospital in Banska Bystrica and Kosice-Saca Hospital, 1st Private Hospital are the best hospitals in Slovakia this year, according to an evaluation of health-care facilities carried out by the Institute for Economic and Social Reforms (INEKO), TASR learnt on Monday. The hospital in Banska Bystrica received the best ranking in the category of state university and faculty hospitals, while the hospital in Kosice-Saca topped the list of general hospitals. Representatives of the hospitals were also given awards. BRATISLAVA - One judge from those who had their mobile phones seized by the police in August, namely Bratislava Regional Court judge Andrea Haitova, provided on Monday her testimony regarding alleged corruption activities to the Judicial Council, head of the council"s five-member committee responsible for the hearing Marcela Kosova stated for TASR on the same day. According to Kosova, Haitova presented her opinion on the information published in the media regarding Marian K."s alleged chats and the seizure of her phone by the National Crime Agency (NAKA). BELGRADE - Slovak Parliamentary Chair Andrej Danko (Slovak National Party/SNS) met on Monday Serbian Parliamentary Chair Maya Gojkovic, expressing his support for Serbia in its efforts to join the EU. According to Danko, the meeting was amicable. It was also attended by Czech Chamber of Deputies Chairman Radek Vondracek and Austrian Parliamentary Chairman Wolfgang Sobotka. Danko informed the media that he along with Sobotka and Vondracek invited Gojkovic for the so-called 'Slavkov format' (S3 - Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Austria) meeting so that "the EU takes more notice of the Balkans and the countries which deserve to join the EU". BRATISLAVA - The presidency of the junior governing Most-Hid party stated on Monday that it welcomes the positive reaction of the extra-parliamentary ethnic-Hungarian SMK party to its initiatives on holding talks on creating a joint slate for the 2020 general election, adding that it suggests that the talks should be intensified given the approaching election. "We have to find a clear and practical solution which will guarantee the representation of regions and nationalities in Parliament," reads Most-Hid"s statement. Extra-parliamentary Hungarian Christian Democratic Alliance (MKDA-MKDSZ), which agreed to co-operation with Most in the summer, will also participate in the talks. am
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