New rules for investment aid. Terms for companies asking for state investment aid were changed with aid-seeking companies having to guarantee the creation of at least 15 percent more new jobs from the average number of employees for the last 12 months and a minimum of 40 new hires who must be employed full-time for one year. If the company asks for help to expand production in an existing plant, it also must guarantee growth in production.

Gender equality in insurance. Different prices of insurance policies for men and women in Slovakia became a thing of the past after the amendment to the anti-discrimination law became effective. Slovakia changed its rules to comply with a verdict of the European Court of Justice, which cancelled the last exception for the use of the gender factor in setting insurance premiums or bonuses.

Broad-gauge railway project continues. Vladimir Yakunin, president of Russian Railways, said that the planned project of the extension of the broad-gauge railway from Russia to Vienna would be carried out and that it will be effective. The most convenient route goes via Slovakia, but this is not the only possibility as the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary have also showed interest. Work on a feasibility study is planned to start in June 2014.

Slovnaft fined for misusing monopoly. Oil refinery Slovnaft was fined €9.03 million for misusing its dominant status on the market in the wholesale sale price of petrol in 2006 and diesel in 2005-2006. Slovnaft, which has one of the most advanced refineries in Europe, was the leader on the Slovak market in wholesale at the time and was not exposed to any relevant competitive pressure.

Slovak car industry continues to grow. Carmakers in Slovakia manufactured a total of 926,555 cars in 2012, a 44.9 percent increase compared with the previous year. The rise is attributed to the launch of new models and extending production in factories in Trnava and Žilina to a third shift. Thus, having produced 171 cars per 1,000 citizens (up from 118 in 2011), Slovakia became the biggest per capita car producer in the world, followed by the Czech Republic. The EU average was 38 cars per 1000 citizens in 2011. Volkswagen Bratislava manufactured the highest number of cars, 419,000, followed by Žilina-based Kia Motors Slovakia with 292,050 and Trnava-based PSA Peugeot Citroën Slovakia with nearly 215,000 cars.

THE YEAR IN BUSINESS

January
February
March
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December