MORNING NEWS HIGHLIGHTS - Tuesday, March 5, 2024 - 9 a.m.

5. marca 2024 9:00
TASR brings a quick morning overview of the most important events seen in Slovakia on the previous day (Monday, March 4): BRATISLAVA - The police have detained a 25-year-old woman who jumped the fence and trespassed on the grounds of President Zuzana Caputova's house in Pezinok in the night hours, Bratislava region police spokesman Michal Szeiff has told TASR. "As the detained woman behaved in a deranged manner and showed signs of having consumed alcohol or narcotic and psychotropic substances, an ambulance was called and the woman was then taken to hospital," claimed the spokesman, adding that the woman was restrained by the president's security detail until the arrival of the police. No harm was done either to the president or her family during the incident. BRATISLAVA - Slovakia's unemployment rate for the whole of 2023 dropped to 5.8 percent, with 162,000 jobless individuals, the Statistics Office has reported. The majority, namely 65 percent, of the unemployed individuals have been without a job for more than 12 months. In terms of regions, both the number of unemployed and the unemployment rate declined year-on-year in six of Slovakia's eight regions. The most significant absolute declines in the number of unemployed people, by more than 2,500 individuals, were observed in Banska Bystrica and Nitra regions. BRATISLAVA - The average nominal salary in Slovakia reached €1,430 per month in 2023, up 9.7 percent year-on-year, the fastest tempo since 2004, the Statistics Office has reported. Meanwhile, real salaries continued to decline, but they dropped by only 0.7 percent year-on-year. NICOSIA - House Chair Peter Pellegrini met with his Cypriot counterpart Annita Demetriou, who thanked Slovakia during Pellegrini's visit to Cyprus for the presence of Slovak soldiers in the UNFICYP peacekeeping mission, TASR learnt from its special correspondent on Monday. Demetriou voiced appreciation for Slovakia's support. Pellegrini underlined that Slovakia will never recognise one-sided secession of land by an ethnic group or annexation by military force. "Slovakia doesn't recognise a two-state solution for this conflict because it entailed an invasion by Turkey into the northern part of Cyprus," claimed Pellegrini. The two heads of parliaments concurred on solutions to European issues such as migration. Also broached was the upcoming election to the European Parliament. According to Pellegrini, in the last 20 years of its existence as an EU member, Slovakia has become a success story, but the trust of Slovaks in the EU is declining. Pellegrini attributes this to a perception that the EU is incapable of protecting Slovaks by failing to guard its external borders. Pellegrini emphasised the need to promote standard political parties in the European Parliament election campaign, so that "we can avoid Europe getting enlarged by some strong extremists parties because I think that's not good for the future of the EU". WASHINGTON - US Secretary of Defence LLoyd Austin expressed appreciation for Slovakia's contribution to NATO during his talks with Slovak Defence Minister Robert Kalinak (Smer-SD) last week, TASR has learnt from a press release on the Pentagon's official website. The ministers discussed matters concerning Ukraine, with Austin pointing to the assistance that Slovakia has provided to its eastern neighbour. "Slovakia has provided critical security assistance to Ukraine's brave defenders, and I look forward to discussing ways that we can continue to strengthen Ukraine's defences and to reinforce NATO's eastern flank," he said. Kalinak reiterated and presented the stance of the Slovak government, which, according to him, emphasises respect for international law and condemns any form of aggression. He also stressed that the Slovak government doesn't see a military solution to the conflict at this time. "Only by immediately stopping the fighting can we prevent further bloodshed and restore Ukraine's sovereignty. It's essential that the international community also contributes to the earliest possible start of peace negotiations, therefore," said Kalinak, as cited by his ministry on Monday. zel
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