Terror-free Slovakia completely refuses Islam and won’t allow a single mosque

Slovakia is the last EU Member State without a single mosque, TRT World reports. Previous attempts to build have been halted by politicians.

The country does not recognise Islam as a religion and only have a few thousand Muslim residents. Islam must not be taught in schools and the 5,000 Muslims, mostly European ones, who reside in the country are not officially recognised. They account for only 0.1% of the population.

In 2007, politicians changed the country’s laws so that 20,000 signatures from members were required to be recognised by the state. In 2017 they more than doubled the number of necessary signatures.


Not being officially recognised poses major difficulties for the group. Among other things, they are not allowed to have official religious leaders, conduct Muslim marriages or receive financial contributions from the State, rights which 18 other recognised religions have.


According to some of the country’s politicians, Islam is a serious threat.

“Islamisation begins with kebab and in Bratislava it has already begun. So understand what it could be like in 5-10 years,” says MP Andrej Danko.

“Every normal European, Christian or atheist fears this satanic pedophile creation of the devil,” rumbles another critical MP.

According to TRT, the situation was further complicated for the country’s Muslims in connection with the 2015 asylum wave. Slovakia then used the absence of mosques as an argument not to accept any migrants.

The TV channel also claims that Slovakia violates EU rights laws by not permitting the building of mosques.



Diamond scam revealed in Slovakia

Slovakia’s gemologists have revealed a diamond certification fraud. An inferior diamond in a ring was accompanied with a certificate for a different gem of higher value.

This case does not have to be isolated, Martin Mikuš, head of the Slovak Gemological Institute, told the TASR newswire.

This type of fraud is more of a threat than the ones that have occurred before, Mikuš said. While in the past a natural gem was directly replaced by a synthetic one or synthetic gems were added to a natural one, now the diamond had a false number of the original gem with certification branded on it.

“A laser-branded number has been used as reliable identification proving a diamond’s authenticity and certification till now,” Mikuš explained, as quoted by TASR.

American gemologists warned against this type of fraud last year. However, it is the first time it is revealed in Slovakia.


‘We want a decent Slovakia,’ demand protesters in Bratislava

Protesters used the anniversary of communism’s fall to call for change to Slovakia’s political culture.

Thousands hit the streets of Bratislava to demonstrate on the eve of a national holiday to remember the 1989 Velvet Revolution.

The group behind Friday’s protests — For A Decent Slovakia — are angry about alleged corruption and the murder of journalist Jan Kuciak.

Kuciak, who had been working on a story on EU subsidy fraud by politically-connected business people, was killed in February.

The murder sparked mass demonstrations and the resignation of Prime Minister Robert Fico.

Fico, who remains chairman of the ruling Smer party, angered protesters with an attack on the media on Tuesday.


Slovakia’s ruling party wins regional elections but support shrinks after journalist’s murder

BRATISLAVA (Reuters) – Slovakia’s ruling Smer party won regional elections this weekend but saw support shrink in the wake of the killing of an investigative journalist that prompted mass protests and led long-serving prime minister Robert Fico to resign in March.

The leftist Smer party won mayorships in 592 of Slovakia’s 2,919 towns and cities, losing 255 towns since the 2014 regional election, final results published by the Statistics Office showed on Sunday.

President Andrej Kiska, who is unaffiliated with any party and who sided with protesters calling for Fico’s ouster, said people in many parts of Slovakia voted for change.

“The appetite for a change in the style of politics is a promise for upcoming presidential, European Union and general elections.”

Slovakia has seen living standards jump among its 5.4 million people, thanks to strong economic growth driven by automotive production. But many complain about perceived public corruption often involving well-connected businesspeople.

Most towns will now be governed by independent candidates who won 42.4 percent of the vote, in some cases unseating long-term Smer politicians.

The Slovak capital Bratislava and two major cities saw victories for candidates supported by the protest movement ‘For a Decent Slovakia.’ The movement organised the biggest protests in Slovakia’s post-communist history this spring.

Reporter Jan Kuciak, who had been investigating political corruption and EU subsidy fraud by business people with alleged links to the government, was shot along with his fiancee at home in February in what prosecutors say was a contract killing.

Four people so far have been charged with the murder but the police are still investigating who ordered the hit.

Two junior coalition parties – centre-right Slovak National Party (SNS) and ethnic Hungarian Most-Hid party – gained 119 and 40 mayors respectively.

Parliamentary opposition parties each won less than one percent of mayors. Turnout stood at 48.7 percent, the same as four years ago.

A latest opinion poll by Focus agency has shown Smer would win the next general election in 2020 but not be able to hold a parliamentary majority with its current coalition partners.

“Smer is still the strongest party… but it is on a downward path and we don’t hear any critical voices from within the party that could change the trend,” Marian Lesko, a political analyst with Trend weekly told Reuters.

Kiska, a popular, respected figure said he would not seek re-election in 2019 but will remain active in politics. He did not rule out setting up a new political party and running in 2020.

Minimum wage in Slovakia to rise in 2019

BRATISLAVA, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) — The minimum wage in Slovakia will rise from current 480 euros (545 U.S.dollars) to 520 euro (591 U.S. dollars) next year. according to a government decree signed by Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini to this effect on Monday.

At the same time, Pellegrini stressed that Slovakia’s economy is doing well, the government will hold talks with social partners on further hikes of the minimum wage in the future.

“With this step we continue to significantly increase the minimum wage, and our goal is to have a minimum wage reaching at least 60 percent of the average salary in the national economy in the future. On the other hand, as the prime minister I want fewer and fewer people to work for the minimum wage in Slovakia,” said Pellegrini.

The minimum wage will exceed 500 euros (568 U.S.dollars) for the first time in Slovakia’s history.


Slovakia will try to rent out Bratislava Airport

Transport Minister Árpád Érsek proposes renting Bratislava airport to a concessionaire for 30 years, the SITA newswire wrote.

It cited a draft public-private partnership project for selecting a concessionaire for the operation of M.R. Štefánik Airport in Bratislava (BTS), which his department submitted on October 26 for a fast-tracked interdepartmental review.

The expedited review should be closed as early as on November 2, as the Ministry claims, there is an urgent need to carry out further actions resulting from the project as well as the entire procedure of selecting a concessionaire. According to the proposed schedule, the concession agreement could come into force as soon as 2021.

The document mentions a concession for a strategic partner in the form of a public-private partnership as about the best option for the future of the largest Slovak international airport.

Indebted airport needs investments

The Ministry expects that this step will secure the long-term sustainable development of the airport, with the State benefiting from it, alongside the investor, the Sme daily reported.

The concession should minimise threats connected with the ownership and operation of the airport, while certain control and strategic assets will remain with the State, the ministry argues.

Connection with strategic partner recommended

“The variant involving the rental of the airport to a foreign partner has been discussed repeatedly, and ultimately, this option has been shown to be the best and most advantageous for the State,” Érsek said, as quoted by Sme. “I believe it will help make the biggest Slovak international airport – with a strategic position within Europe – visible. I am sure that thanks to sufficient investments which the State cannot render to the airport, its prestige and quality of service can improve, and it can attract new airline operators.”

The Transport Ministry elaborated a feasibility study which explored several options such as development by current management, or granting the concession to a strategic partner.

The documents ultimately find a strategic partner to be the best solution, with the State acquiring an extra €61 million, and a higher residential value for BTS when it is returned.

The planned timeline

The conclusion of the concession is expected by June 2020, after a public tender. Its subject should be the operation, maintenance and development of Bratislava airport, while the runways and the connected infrastructure should remain in the ownership of BTS, according to Sme.

“By implementing the project of public-private-partnership in the form of granting a concession, the long-term sustainable development of M. R. Štefánik Airport will be secured,” the ministry predicts, as cited by Sme. “The precondition is that the strategic partner improves the competitive position of BTS in the region and increases the offer and quality of the airport services.”



Slovakia threatens to freeze relations with Vietnam over kidnapping case

BRATISLAVA (Reuters) – Slovakia has threatened to freeze relations with Vietnam over the case of a Vietnamese businessman who Germany says was kidnapped by Vietnamese agents and smuggled back home through Slovakia, the Slovak foreign ministry said on Saturday.

German prosecutors have said businessman Trinh Xuan Thanh, who had sought asylum in Germany, was abducted in a Berlin street by Vietnamese secret service agents and taken back to Vietnam, where he was tried and jailed for life.

The alleged incident took place during a visit to Slovakia by Vietnamese public security minister To Lam in July 2017.

Slovakia’s foreign minister met with his Vietnamese counterpart on the sidelines of a UN general assembly meeting last month seeking an explanation but the country has yet to hear back from Hanoi, the ministry said.

“We haven’t yet received a reply from Vietnam,” the ministry said in a statement. Minister Miroslav Lajcak said that unless Hanoi provided a credible explanation of how the kidnapped (Vietnamese) citizen got to Vietnam, bilateral relations between the countries would be frozen.


“Slovakia is a serious state and will draw resolute diplomatic consequences if the suspicions that Vietnam is facing prove to be true.”

The case has also soured relations between Germany and Vietnam and prompted Germany to accuse Vietnam of breaching international law. A German court in July sentenced a Vietnamese man to three years and 10 months in jail after he confessed to helping his country’s secret services kidnap Thanh.

Slovakia sought to distance itself from the incident following a report in Dennik N alleging Thanh was taken in a van from Berlin via Prague to Bratislava, where he was added to the Vietnamese minister’s delegation and left on a Slovak government plane.

Former interior minister Robert Kalinak in August denied any involvement in the kidnapping, calling the media report “science-fiction”.