Week in review: Schools hit by false bomb threats

Week in review: Schools hit by false bomb threats
1. Slovakia hit by a massive bomb threat, resulting in evacuation of schools and banks. 2. Candidates for president have revealed how much they spent for their campaigns. 3. Slovak diplomat attended the inauguration of Vladimir Putin.

More than 1,500 false bomb alerts were reported in schools on Tuesday. Some bank branches and consumer electronics retailers were also affected, leading to evacuations. Similar anonymous threats affected some schools in Bratislava last week. According to experts, the threat was rare for Slovakia in its scope.

The e-mail included threats of violence in the name of Islam and it was reportedly sent using a Russian domain.

After the bank holiday on Wednesday and police inspections, all affected schools have reopened, with police guards at many. According to preliminary police findings, the coordinated mass false reports of bombs in Slovak schools were a cyber-attack and a hybrid threat.

Security expert Martin Královič says we can expect to see more reports like this in the digital age. Immediate evacuation is not always the right response, he says. According to a psychologist, the youngest children have the biggest difficulty coping with a potential evacuation. She expects schools will have to adopt and learn how to cope with similar situations.

Slovakia marked the Victory Day on Wednesday, commemorating the 79th anniversary of the end of the WWII. The occasion was marked by the President and politicians. The incumbent president Zuzana Čaputová pointed out that what both history and the present teach are that undemocratic and authoritarian regimes pose a threat to peace. The elected candidate for President Peter Pellegrini said on the occasion he is ready to offer Bratislava as a place for peace negotiations to help establish peace in Ukraine.

President Zuzana Čaputová has vetoed two laws. The President has vetoed an amendment to the Act on Museums and Galleries, arguing it lowers the standards of transparency and professionalism when appointing the management of cultural institutions. The President has also vetoed the bill on emergency measures for strategic investments and for the construction of the trans-European transport network. Among other things, she sees the problem in weakening of procedural protection for owners of real estate that would be affected by expropriation.

Outgoing president Zuzana Čaputová said she does not intend to engage in party politics. She said she does not regret her decision not to re-run for the post of the head of state. She wants to be an active citizen in areas where she has some kind of knowledge and stay in Slovakia. The outgoing President said she will not return to her law practice. On Friday, she visited Ukraine as part of her series of farewell visits.

Criminal prosecutions have been initiated in four cases in connection with the conditions in re-education centres. These are sexual violence and the crime of abuse of a close person and a person entrusted to one's care. In one case, charges were brought against a specific perpetrator for the crime of sexual abuse.

The National Crime Agency has proposed to indict a Member of Parliament for Smer-SD Tibor Gašpar and businessman Norbert Bödör. Together with former police officer Roman Stahl, they face charges in a corruption case. All three plead not guilty.

Candidates for President have declared their spending during the campaign. The spending limit is half a million euros, Peter Pellegrini and Ivan Korčok, who were the two top candidates, have both declared they had spent a little less than the limit allows. Following the runoff round of the election, transparency international criticised Pellegrini for the least transparent campaign and pointed out that he potentially ceased to declare all spending.

WWF Slovakia is calling on members of parliament not to vote for laws facilitating the shooting of large carnivores, including bears. According to the organisation, the law has several serious shortcomings and may endanger the populations of protected carnivores.

Culture Minister Martina Šimkovičová said she wants to summon an actor and the director of the Slovak National Theatre. According to her, she had been a victim of bullying during a theatre performance. Culture Minister Martina Šimkovičová will face a no-confidence vote in parliament next week, so will Health Minister Zuzana Dolinková.

The first €4M collected by Ammunition for Ukraine fundraiser will be used to buy artillery ammunition, organisers have announced. The first supply of the ammunition for the Ukrainian army will take place in cooperation with representatives of the Czech governmental initiative.

Developments from the diplomatic field:

The inauguration of Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday was attended by Slovak Chargé d'affaires. Slovak foreign ministry has justified this step with wanting to prevent a creation of a new iron curtain.

The United States and most European Union nations boycotted the ceremony. France, Hungary, Slovakia and Greece attended, despite a plea by Kyiv.

A senior Kremlin official said the heads of all the foreign diplomatic missions in Moscow had been invited to attend Putin's inauguration, the Interfax news agency reported.

On the day of the inauguration, head of the parliamentary Committee for Defence and Security Tibor Gašpar invited the Russian ambassador to Slovakia Igor Bratchikov for an official meeting. After a silent protest of two opposition parties, the meeting was cancelled at the last minute. According to Gašpar, it will be held later. In January, Bratchikov attended a meeting with the then Speaker of Parliament and now the elected candidate for President Peter Pellegrini.

Artem Marchevsky, has been granted temporary protection in Slovakia, Czech daily Deník N reported. Marchevsky is a Ukrainian businessman and politician, considered to be pro-Russian, Czech government has imposed sanctions on him. According to Czech intelligence services, Artem Marchevsky influenced politics in Europe through the media platform Voice of Europe.

PM Robert Fico officially visited Azerbaijan, discussing economic cooperation with the country’s president Ilham Aliyev. They signed a declaration on the strategic partnership. According to Economy Minister Denisa Saková, Azerbaijan is an important partner in terms of gas diversification for Central and Eastern Europe.

Foreign Minister Juraj Blanár officially visited the Republic of Cyprus, meeting the leadership of the UN peacekeeping mission in Cyprus (UNFICYP) as well as Slovak soldiers and police officers working in the mission.

Martin Bednárik

Živé vysielanie ??:??

Práve vysielame