Fico’s big investment revolution, interview with Slovakia’s Maya expert, and AmCham Slovakia has a new head.
Good evening. Here is the Monday, February 12 edition of Today in Slovakia – the main news of the day in less than five minutes.
Foreign travellers’ visits up in 2023
Last year, Slovak accommodation facilities experienced the second best year since the turn of the millennium. The second highest number of visitors, 5.7 million, stayed at hotels in 2023.
Most of them, 3.6 million, were Slovak tourists. Still, the Statistics Office has noticed a trend regarding foreigners: the return of foreign clientele to Slovakia. Their overall visit rate increased by almost a third for the year. In total, 2.1 million foreign visitors stayed in Slovakia last year.
“However, even this dynamic development could not completely erase the drop in foreign visitors from the previous three years marked by the pandemic. Almost 400,000 foreign guests were missing from the pre-pandemic values,” added the Statistics Office.
Most of the accommodated visitors stayed in Bratislava and Žilina Regions. Six out of 10 visitors in the Bratislava Region were from abroad.
December 2023: Slovaks made up almost most of the accommodated guests. However, the number of foreign guests increased by 13 percent year on year. A total of 134,000 foreigners stayed at Slovak hotels.
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FEATURE STORY FOR MONDAY
Exploration with lasers, machetes
Slovakia is one of the few countries in the world that can decipher Maya inscriptions. “This expertise in the field, which is ahead of that in many other western European countries, is something Slovakia should be very proud of,” Comenius University’s Maya expert Milan Kováč says in an interview with The Slovak Spectator.
EVENT FOR THURSDAY
The Night of Architecture and Design
Starting on February 15 at 16:00, Bratislava’s Faculty of Architecture and Design will host the Night of Architecture and Design in its premises on the Námestie Slobody 19 square.
The event, including discussions and lectures, will be free. One of the lectures will be held in English. It will start at 20:30. Tijana Mačkić (Belehrad) and Scott Lloyd (Zürich) from the X = ( T = E = N ) atelier will talk about their works.
IN OTHER NEWS
- DELL Technologies general manager Martin Maštalír has become the new head of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham Slovakia). Maštalír is replacing Gabriel Galgóci, who ended his tenure at the helm of the Chamber on December 31, 2023.
- Women working part-time earned €827 a month on average in 2022, Radovan Durana of the INESS institute has stated in an analysis focused on part-time jobs. (TASR)
- The Constitutional Court has accepted for further proceedings a complaint lodged by Penta group’s Jaroslav Haščák regarding the failure of the Slovak Information Service (SIS) to destroy the recordings of its 2005-06 surveillance operation nicknamed Gorilla. Haščák’s complaint is based on European Court of Human Right’s verdict, which established that all materials made in the Gorilla corruption case are unlawful and must be destroyed. Back in 2005-06, the SIS wiretapped a flat owned by ex-police officer Zoltán Varga in Bratislava, where Haščák was meeting with politicians and state officials. The European court decided that Varga’s right to have his private life respected was violated by “practically unfettered power exercised by an intelligence service implementing a surveillance operation without adequate legal safeguards”. Some recordings from the 2005-06 wiretapping were leaked and anonymously posted on the Internet in the run-up to the 2012 parliamentary election, causing mass protests.(TASR)
- The Catholic Church’s silence regarding the new Penal Code is incomprehensible, the SaS party said on Monday. It added that it expects Catholic bishops to make a statement on the approved changes. The Penal Code was approved by parliament on February 8. On February 9, Lutheran bishops voiced their “grave concerns” over the passing of the amendment. (TASR)
- The Slovak National Party (SNS) has called on Slovakia’s chief hygienist Ján Mikas to immediately resign from his post. The party sees him as a symbol of failure to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.
WEATHER FOR TUESDAY: The cloud cover will change throughout the day, with the sun appearing more and more as the day goes by. Light showers in places. Daytime temperatures between 8 °C and 13 °C, in northern Slovakia from 3 °C to 8 °C. The yellow wind warning will apply to the mountain areas of eastern Slovakia from tonight until Tuesday evening. See the map. (SHMÚ)
FEBRUARY 13 NAME DAY IN SLOVAKIA: Arpád.
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