MORNING NEWS HIGHLIGHTS - Saturday, April 4, 2020 - 9 a.m.

4. apríla 2020 9:00
TASR brings a quick morning overview of the most important events seen in Slovakia on the previous day (Thursday, April 2): BRUSSELS - The Council of the European Union on Friday appointed former Slovak foreign minister Miroslav Lajcak as its special representative for dialogue between Belgrade and Prishtina and other regional issues in the Western Balkans. The Council of the EU in a press release stated that among Lajcak's chief tasks will be to achieve a comprehensive normalisation of relations between Serbia and Kosovo - which hasn't been recognised as an independent state by Slovakia, however. BRATISLAVA - Prime Minister Igor Matovic (OLaNO) stated on Friday that 24 new cases of coronavirus were registered in the country on Thursday, bringing the total number of infected people to 450, while laboratories tested 1,454 samples. "According to data provided by the National Centre for Medical Data (NCZI), there are 165 patients in hospital, of which 67 have tested positive for coronavirus and 98 are still waiting for their results," stated Health Ministry spokesperson Zuzana Eliasova added that private laboratories have tested 909 samples up to this point. BRATISLAVA - The Government's measures against the spread of coronavirus to be imposed for Easter will be discussed and presented on Sunday, said prime minister Igor Matovic (OLaNO) during a session of the Central Crisis Management Team on Friday evening. BRATISLAVA - During her meeting with the permanent crisis management team on Friday, President Zuzana Caputova appealed to its members to increase the protection of elderly people, victims of domestic violence and other vulnerable groups, the president's spokesman Martin Strizinec told TASR on the same day. According to Strizinec, the president was also interested in stocks of protective aids for Slovak hospitals and people in the frontline, the number of testing kits and lung ventilators, as well as other measures already introduced or planned. BRATISLAVA - Bank clients will be able to apply for the deferral of loan-payment instalments by a maximum of nine months during the coronavirus pandemic, and banks will be obliged to agree to this under the specified conditions and won't record these clients as defaulters, said Prime Minister Igor Matovic and Finance Minister Eduard Heger (both OLaNO) on Friday concerning an agreement reached with banks. Meanwhile, the limit for contactless payments without the need to enter PIN numbers should increase from the current €20 to €50 as soon as possible. BRATISLAVA - The Slovak Parliament on Friday approved new extraordinary measures to contain the spread of novel coronavirus, including a ban on the sale of FFP2, FFP3 and KN95 respirators to the general public. Private individuals who violate the ban should be fined from €500 to €1,000 and legal entities from €1,000 to €10,000. BRATISLAVA - President Zuzana Caputova on Friday filed a motion to the Constitutional Court concerning the adoption of a law introducing 13th pension payments just a few days before the general election. Caputova stressed that she wasn't uncomfortable with the content of the law, but the "unprecedented misuse of fast-tracked proceedings" in order to adopt the law in the final days of the election campaign. The president stated that the Constitutional Court should consider her move as an opportunity to settle attempts to misuse fast-tracked proceedings in Parliament "once and for all". bub
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