Saturday, January 28

News digest: Ice-hockey player Juraj Slafkovský makes draft history

Bratislava seeks volunteers to help keep nightlife spots safe, speeds on Slovak roads among fastest in world, data shows pandemic drove chocolate splurge.


Good afternoon. Here is the Friday, July 8 edition of Today in Slovakia – the main news of the day in less than five minutes.

For weekend events and news on travel and culture in Slovakia, see the latest edition of our Spectacular Slovakia newsletter.

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Bratislava seeks volunteers to keep nightlife spots safe

Bratislava is looking for volunteers to help keep the capital’s nightlife spots safe for visitors at weekends.

City officials have put out a call on social media asking for people to join its Night Help team which will be on its streets during the busiest weekend hours. They say that along with the municipal police, the state police, and emergency medical services, the seven-member team of volunteers will be available to help people who need to be escorted home, are lost from their group, have lost their phone, purse or wallet, or can wait with them at public transport stops if they feel unsafe.

The team’s activities will focus on Fridays and Saturdays from 23:00 to 3:00 in locations where the city’s nightlife spots are concentrated.

In other news

  • Ice-hockey player Juraj Slafkovský became the first Slovak to be selected as the number one pick in the National Hockey League (NHL) entry draftas he was picked up by the Montreal Canadians on Thursday, July 7. The 18-year-old winger broke the previous Slovak record set by now retired Marián Gáborík, who was third pick when he was taken by the Minnesota Wild in 2000. Meanwhile, Slovak defenseman Simon Nemec (18) was second pick in the draft, being taken by the New Jersey Devils. Filip Mesár was also picked up in the first round, being drafted by Montréal as 26th pick.
  • An EU Covid Certificate is still a necessity in Finland, France, Corsica, Malta and Monacothe VšZP health insurer has pointed out.
  • Nine people have drowned while bathing in Slovakia since June 1.
  • Slovakia posted a trade-balance surplus of €160.5 million in May 2022 after six months of deficitmainly due to a significant increase in car exports, but also lower imports of natural gas, the Statistics Office reported.
  • President Zuzana Čaputová has expressed her condolences over the death of Japanese ex-premier Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated on Friday. “With the death of Japan’s longest-serving post-war prime minister, the democratic world has lost a prominent figure who co-shaped the international community and security based on rules, dialogue and law,” the president stated on her Facebook account.
  • The hospitality sector was short of over 10,000 employees during the busiest part of the year. So, they have had to rely on part-time labour, especially high school and university students. Despite an amendment to the Labor Code which is supposed to simplify and make part-time work more attractive, the Slovak Association of Hotels and Restaurants (AHRS) claims that it is of no use during this summer as it only comes into force from January 1 next year.
  • Research by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has shown that Slovakia has some of the fastest average speeds on roads in the world. In a study, it examined how long on average it takes to travel between large cities, and found the average speed on Slovak roads is 93 km/h. However, there is a catch: the figure for Slovakia is based on routes between Bratislava and Žilina, Liptovský Mikuláš, Poprad or Košice. There are high-quality connections thanks to highways and dual carriageways.
  • Chocolate consumption in Slovakia increased in the second year of the pandemic – every Slovak ate an average of four kilograms of it last year, the Statistics Office of the Slovak Republic said on Thursday, July 7 to mark World Chocolate Day. According to preliminary data, in 2021, consumption of chocolate and chocolate confectionery in Slovakia increased by an average of 0.6 kg or 17.6 percent per inhabitant.

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Feature story of today

When people open a refrigerator and see rotting food, the immediate reaction is reflexively usually one of disgust. Although such reactions have been common to humans for hundreds of thousands of years, it is only recently that research has focused on this particular emotional response, and in the last few years a growing number of studies have focused on the relationship between feelings of disgust and everything from ecological conservation to attitudes towards LGBTQ people.

PAVOL PROKOP, a behavioral ecologist at Comenius University in Bratislava and Institute of Zoology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, was recently named Slovak Scientist of the Year by the Education Ministry. In an interview with The Slovak Spectator, he talks about his studies of him and explains how aspects of human behavior are related to evolution.

More stories on

NATURE: Real wilderness in eastern Slovakia. Poloniny experiences the world’s greatest paradox.

MUSEUM: At Slovakia’s map museum, visitors become cartographers

BIOMETHANE: Cement bellies of livestock in eastern Slovakia produce biomethane

CINEMA: Jánošík: The making of the first Slovak feature film

EXHIBITION: Exhibition highlights Danube’s history as border between Habsburg and Ottoman worlds

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