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News digest: A million-strong Bratislava? Dream on, say demographers

Controversial MP lights up (illegally) in his office, a sweet drinks tax is on the way, and reckless e-scooter riders can be fined.

By: sme.sk

  • Apr 19 2024
  • 40
News digest: A million-strong Bratislava? Dream on, say demographers
News digest: A million-strong

Good evening. Here is the Friday, April 19 edition of Today in Slovakia - the main news of the day in less than five minutes.

The unlikely path to one million

Bratislava's twentieth-century ambition to reach one million inhabitants by 2050 appears unattainable, with current projections suggesting only a modest medium-term increase to around 520,000 residents, up from the current level of about 475,000.

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Despite previous growth fuelled by factors like immigration and higher fertility rates, current demographic trends indicate the city will – unlike most other Slovak towns, which are set to shrink – experience ongoing growth, but will see its population age markedly.

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  • Politics: SNS MP Rudolf Huliak was filmed exhaling cigar smoke into a terrarium in parliament. He claimed it promotes plant growth. Rather less doubtful are the rules that apply to smoking indoors in parliament: it is explicitly illegal.
  • Weekend: See the High Tatras from Košice, take an easy but beautiful hike to Popradské Pleso, enjoy some Italo Calvino art – all this, and other fascinating ideas for what to do during the weekend of April 19-21.
  • E-riding: As warmer weather arrives, Bratislava's metropolitan police are cracking down on reckless e-scooter riders, whose antics can attract fines of up to €50.
  • Culture: Cracks continue to plague Bratislava Castle. Some believe they are connected to the construction of the nearby Vydrica luxury housing development; the developer denies any link.
  • Business: Wendy's, an American chain of fast food restaurants, could open an outlet in Bratislava.
  • Gastro: Slovaks are now routinely paying almost €10 for lunchtime meal deals in restaurants, with Trnava Region leading the average expenditure at €9.60.

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The art of Easter Egg decoration

Even though Easter has passed, its art is with us all year round. Marián Jausch from Nová Baňa has spent 25 years mastering the art of decorating Easter eggs. His work now decorates homes around the world.

Read other fascinating local stories in The Slovak Spectator's weekly selection of feel-good stories.


City gates opening

The ceremonial opening of Bratislava's city gates at 09:00 tomorrow morning will launch the Days of Bratislava event. It's free for everyone; for more details about this and other events read more here.


  • Slovakia plans to introduce a tax on sweetened beverages, including milk, cocoa, and coffee-based drinks, as part of fiscal measures to address the high public deficit. The tax, recommended by the WHO, aims to generate additional revenue for the state budget starting from January 2025, but faces opposition from beverage manufacturers who warn of significant price hikes and potential negative impacts on local businesses. (SITA)
  • The government is planning to address the deteriorating state of many bridges by offering investors the opportunity to repair about 500 of them through public-private partnerships. Prime Minister Robert Fico also highlighted plans to expand railway capacity from Bratislava to Komárno and secure resources for further transportation initiatives, aiming to present offers to investors by the end of June.


The weekend will be mostly cold, with intermittent rain in some parts – bring your umbrella! The highest daytime will vary from 6°C up to to a maximum of 14°C.

NAME DAY IN SLOVAKIA: Saturday - Marcel, Sunday - Ervín, Monday - Slavomír

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P.S. If you have suggestions on how our news overview can be improved, you can reach us at editorial@spectator.sk.

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