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State increases pressure on SE THE TENSIONS between the state and the dominant power producer Slovenské Elektrárne (SE) are escalating with a police search on December 16 at SE headquarters in Bratislava and a new criminal complaint for an alleged fraud in running Gabčíkovo hydroelectric power plant. 18 Dec 2014 Jana Liptáková More from Business
Private rail alters market WHILE a private train company already operates in Slovakia, passengers had to wait until mid-December for real competition on Slovak rails. Czech private railway carrier RegioJet, already running trains on the regional route between Bratislava and Komárno, has launched rail transport on the busiest route in Slovakia – between Bratislava and Košice, just before the Christmas season, which is traditionally the busiest part of the year in transport. The competition has already brought lower prices and more services. 22 Dec 2014 Jana Liptáková More from Business
Čižnár to stay on as prosecutor THE LANDMARK ruling of the Constitutional Court from December 4 on the case of lawfully elected but never appointed general prosecutor Jozef Čentéš is unlikely to induce any changes to one of the most powerful judicial positions in the country. 15 Dec 2014 Beata Balogová More from Politics & Society
Competition rare in hospital tenders MOST contracts in Slovak hospitals involve just a single bidder causing taxpayers to pay the added costs, according to a study by Transparency International Slovensko (TIS) and INEKO economic think-tank. 22 Dec 2014 Roman Cuprik More from Politics & Society
SDKÚ continues rapid decline MEMBER after member continue to leave the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) party which now has just 2.1 percent public support in the latest poll, the same result as Communist Party of Slovakia reached. 22 Dec 2014 Roman Cuprik More from Politics & Society
A year of change THE YEAR 2014 brought Slovakia its first ever president with no previous political background or one-time membership in the communist party, while preventing Prime Minister Robert Fico and his party Smer from controlling all key institutions: the government, the parliament and the presidential palace. 22 Dec 2014 Beata Balogová More from Opinion
Kiska’s election changes landscape The year in politics IVAN Gašparovič, the one-time right-hand man of controversial three-time prime minister Vladimír Mečiar, ended his decade-long tenure and was replaced by Andrej Kiska, the first-ever independent candidate with no previous political background – not to mention the first president who was not once a member of the Communist Party. 22 Dec 2014 Beata Balogová and Radka Minarechová More from Politics & Society
Scandals The year in politics Scandals pertaining to the health care sector did not end with the dubious deal surrounding the dubious purchase of CT device. The Sme daily and Transparency International Slovensko (TIS) reviewed contracts of four large state hospitals in Trenčín, Banská Bystrica, Trnava and Poprad and found that they will pay external caterers nearly €81 million including VAT over the course of 10 years. After Sme ran the story, these overpriced catering contracts signed with mutually intertwined companies saw the heads of the state-owned hospitals forced out, along with the Health Ministry’s service office head Martin Senčák. 22 Dec 2014 Beata Balogová and Radka Minarechová More from Politics & Society
Countrywide Events Music, Theatre, Exhibition... Western SLOVAKIA 22 Dec 2014 Zuzana Vilikovská More from Culture & Society
Slovaks consolidate loans Banks compete with one another for bigger market share LOAN consolidations are being propelled by record low interest rates, leading to increased competition among banks for retail clients. 15 Dec 2014 Simona Šabová More from Finances and Advisory
Corporate loans on the rise Economic growth fuels desire to expand businesses AFTER a two-year decline, banks in Slovakia are reporting an increased demand for corporate loans. While low business confidence accounted for much of the lull, analysts cite a return to investing in growth as the engine of the more recent revival. 15 Dec 2014 Katarína Minaríková More from Finances and Advisory
Second pillar to start paying out Investors in private pension schemes to get first returns IN LESS than one month all people who have reached, or who are are going to reach, 62 years before the beginning of next year and saved money in the so-called second pillar can begin drawing money from their private pension savings for the first time. Though the first payments will be in just tens of euros because of the short saving time, around 3,000 new retirees can look forward to at least a slight increase in their old-age income, as compared to just the state system. 15 Dec 2014 Peter Adamovský More from Finances and Advisory
Banking moves online Another step will be smartphones CHANGING technology has a strong impact on all economic sectors, but perhaps none more so than on banking. Even as banks adapt, there are still more prospects for a shift towards virtual banking, with smartphones likely playing a key role. 15 Dec 2014 Simona Šabová and Katarína Mináriková More from Finances and Advisory
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“Even those who proposed it admitted that the law will be ineffective.” President Andrej Kiska explains why he refused to sign the anti-shell law.