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Ryanair to open its base in Bratislava Business in short Locked IRISH low-cost airline Ryanair will open its first base in Slovakia, in Bratislava, next March. Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary unveiled the company’s plans in Bratislava on November 13. Investments are planned at €160.6 million. 17 Nov 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Enel gets three bids, waits for more Business in short Locked THE MAJORITY owner of the dominant power producer Slovenské Elektrárne (SE), Italian Enel, has received three offers for its 66-percent stake in SE but expects that further bids could still arrive. In the meantime, Slovakia has not yet agreed over an increase of the budget to complete the second two blocks of the nuclear power station in Mochovce. 17 Nov 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Free trains with costs THIS YEAR November 17 is special, apart from recalling the 25th anniversary of the fall of the communist regime, nearly half of the nation will be able to travel for free on most domestic trains from this date on. The discounts come as part of a €250 million social-economic package that Prime Minister Robert Fico says is designed to compensate for recent years of austerity, but the policy has its fair share of critics too. 17 Nov 2014 The Slovak Spectator
GDP growth forecasts reduced Business in short SLOVAKIA is expected to continue in its economic growth, but its dynamics should be lower that originally forecast due to an expected slowdown of leading trade partners. The European Commission as well as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) issued updated economic forecasts for 2015 and 2016. José Ángel Gurría, Secretary General of the OECD, himself came to Slovakia to present the updated outlook and congratulate Slovakia on its fight against the economic crisis. 10 Nov 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Economy minister visits Mochovce Business in short PRIOR to the general assembly of Slovenské Elektrárne (SE) scheduled to decide about the increased budget for completing the second two blocks of the nuclear power station in Mochovce, Economy Minister Pavol Pavlis visited the construction site on November 3 to view the progress. He reiterated his criticism over the slow and expensive work, but indicated that the state would agree to the increase in budget, as well as the extended deadline. 10 Nov 2014 The Slovak Spectator
State's e-marketplace draws mixed reviews THE INTERIOR Ministry has revealed the first results of its €3.5-milion e-marketplace project to save money and help tackle corruption. Since tests were launched in July, 34 trades have taken place, saving the state about €21,000. While the ministry talks success, watchdog groups remain sceptical. 10 Nov 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Tax changes perceived mostly negatively Some changes will affect business retroactively WHILE Robert Fico’s government puts closing legal loopholes for tax avoidance and consolidation of public finances as the motivation for tax changes adopted at the end of October, business and tax experts perceive them as mostly negative and worsening the business environment in Slovakia. The changes are a continuation of tax-related measures the Robert Fico government has adopted since it took power in 2012. That year it scrapped the flat tax, which it used as some of the main bait for foreign investors. 10 Nov 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Automotive company expands Business in short THE OLDEST carmaker in Slovakia, Volkswagen Slovakia (VW SK), keeps expanding. On October 28 it opened a new tool shop in Stupava. It will manufacture tools and equipment for automotive production to be used in Slovakia’s assembly plant, as well as to be exported to VW plants in the EU, China, India and Mexico. 3 Nov 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Slovak banks succeed in stress tests Business in short SLOVAKIA’s three biggest banks – Slovenská Sporiteľňa, VÚB and Tatra Banka have passed the European Central Bank’s (ECB) financial health tests and will not need to raise additional capital. This applies also to their parent companies, the TASR newswire reported on October 26. 3 Nov 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Firms pushing for power price discussion ENERGY-intensive businesses are continuing to complain about high energy prices in Slovakia. While they see them as endangering their competitiveness, they also call for a comprehensive debate and better assessment of impacts regarding changes to regulated aspects of electricity prices. Prime Minister Robert Fico, to whom the business community sent an open letter warning about high electricity prices, has indicated some relief for energy-intensive businesses. For example, these businesses, with the exception of Slovenské Elektrárne (SE), the operator of nuclear power stations in Slovakia, could be excluded from the duty to pay into the National Nuclear Fund. SE is an opponent, claiming that it is not responsible for the historical debt for nuclear energy. 3 Nov 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Smer pushes through tax changes TAXPAYERS will pay more in taxes as of next year even though basic rates for income and corporate taxes remain unchanged. Prime Minister Robert Fico’s Smer majority in parliament pushed through an extensive revision to the income tax laws on October 30. While the cabinet cites consolidation of public finances and closing legal loopholes as the motivation for the changes, the opposition calls them a covert tax hike and say they will challenge the moves with the Constitutional Court. 3 Nov 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Constitution will protect water Business in short AS MANY as 102 MPs, including 23 from opposition parties, passed the constitutional ban on exporting water at the October 21 session, the TASR newswire reported. 27 Oct 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Merkel visited Slovakia Busness in short ECONOMIC growth and unemployment reduction are shared priorities for Slovakia and Germany, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said after meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Bratislava on October 20. 27 Oct 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Doctors refuse to be debt collectors SEVERAL doctors across Slovakia voiced their concern over the new amendment to agreements with health insurer Dôvera which compels them to inform their patients about possible arrears from unpaid health insurance or even accept the owed sum. The insurer responds that it is the legal duty of doctors to inform patients about their debt and adds that the possibility to take the payment is only voluntary. 27 Oct 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Debt shrinks, state can spend more AS EXPECTED, after application of the new accounting methodology, the Slovak government’s debt for 2013 decreased under the 55-percent threshold. This in practice means that Slovakia can increase expenditures in its state budget for next year as it has escaped a stricter level of the constitutional debt brake. But economists warn that the change is only cosmetic and call for being prudent. 27 Oct 2014 The Slovak Spectator
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Quote of the Week
“I have sleeping mats here for my colleagues.” SaS MP Ľubomír Galko said, showing media how he is prepared for the discussion held before the vote of no-confidence in PM Robert Fico, which ultimately lasted nearly 50 hours.