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Petrovany rebuffs Spanish investment Business in short Locked A SPANISH investor has failed for the second time to obtain land in eastern Slovakia to build a new foundry. After protests by local residents thwarted Funderia Condals’ plans to build a foundry near Prešov, councillors of the nearby Petrovany village refused to sell the investor land in the local industrial park, succumbing to the pressure of locals even before the environmental impact assessment (EIA) was completed. 25 Aug 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Enviro minister withdraws waste bill Business in short Locked ENVIRONMENT Minister Peter Žiga will first send the draft bill of the new Waste Act to Brussels for evaluation and only then will he submit it to the cabinet for approval, so as to avoid having to revise the law some months after it is adopted. It is common for laws in Slovakia to be passed before the EU has any say on it. 25 Aug 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Minimum wage to rise next year Locked THE LABOUR Ministry has proposed a 7.95 percent rise in the minimum wage, a change that bumps low earners’ monthly pay by €28 per month to €380. The increase is the biggest in recent years, where increases have typically stayed in the 3-4 percent range. The proposal still has to be approved by the rest of the cabinet. 25 Aug 2014 The Slovak Spectator
FinMin shows first budget draft Locked THE FINANCE Ministry has introduced a draft bill for the most significant law of the year - the 2015 state budget. While Prime Minister Robert Fico, whose ruling Smer party will face parliamentary elections in less than two years, is optimistic, pointing to Slovakia’s positive economic developments, economic analysts and the opposition say the budget is not ambitious enough and does not reflect potential threats resulting from the Ukraine-Russia conflict and the related sanctions. 25 Aug 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Ukraine reverse flow pipe tested THE SLOVAK-Ukrainian Vojany-Uzhgorod pipeline, modernised to transport natural gas via reverse flow from Slovakia to Ukraine, began testing in mid-August. Its standard commercial operation is planned to start in September. As market watchers perceive the upgrading of the pipeline as a means to help Ukraine reduce its dependence on Russian gas, they also expect Ukraine to continue transiting Russian gas to Slovakia. 21 Aug 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Insurance debt from self-employed spikes Business in short HEALTH insurance companies have recently sent annual clearings for people who are self employed and have a license to run their own business, and report a huge increase in unpaid health insurance contributions because of a change in payroll tax accounting. 18 Aug 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Companies are looking for specialists Business in short QUALITY engineers, project managers, SAP consultants and payroll accountants are among the most sought after specialists on the job market, and wages for these jobs may differ by hundreds of euros per month depending on the region in which they work. 18 Aug 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Minimum wage to see record high increase THE LABOUR Ministry has proposed the highest minimum wage increase in the last few years. As of next year, the minimum monthly wage should rise by 7.95 percent (or €28) to €380. In previous years the increase oscillated around 3-4 percent. The proposal still has to be approved by the cabinet in order to appear on the payroll of low-income employees. The trade unions, however, want a higher increase in the minimum wage, while employers say the minimum salary should not rise at all. The representatives of towns and villages are likely to support the wage increase, but a lower one than what the ministry has proposed. 18 Aug 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Compromise reached in road tax The new draft bill reflects more ecology THE NEW motor vehicle tax will be more ecologically friendly after the Finance Ministry accepted objections to the original proposal from commercial transport firms. The road tax paid by drivers of green vehicles will be lower than originally proposed, and transporters believe the new tax rates will be less discriminatory. The Finance Ministry is currently working on the draft bill of the road tax law, which will unify motor vehicle tax rates in 2015. 18 Aug 2014 The Slovak Spectator
New investments target disadvantaged regions FOREIGN investments keep flowing into Slovakia. During the first half of 2014 the Slovak Investment and Trade Development Agency (SARIO) in cooperation with the Economy Ministry mediated 15 investment projects, mostly creating job opportunities in regions suffering from high unemployment. 18 Aug 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Slovak GDP keeps growing Slovakia’s main partners with worse than expected performance SLOVAKIA’S economic growth maintained sound growth dynamics during the second quarter of 2014; however, the contraction of Germany’s economy and stagnation in the Czech Republic is not good news for Slovakia. 18 Aug 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Slovakia braces for potential gas crisis Reverse flow of gas is technically ready and gas storage facilities are being filled WHILE Russian natural gas continues to flow via Ukraine to Slovakia, the country is prepared for a potential gas crisis. Underground gas storage facilities are full enough to cover almost five months of natural gas consumption, while natural gas can also be transported to Slovakia via two reverse flows from the West, authorities say. 14 Aug 2014 The Slovak Spectator
East getting hundreds of jobs Business in short AFTER inexpensive products from Asia brought down the textile industry in eastern Slovakia several years ago, it seems that the situation has been improving. But instead of clothes, local sewers will make car seat covers. Two foreign companies have announced investments in Stará Ľubovňa and the creation of about 250 jobs, the Hospodárske Noviny economic daily wrote. 11 Aug 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Doprastav undergoes restructuring Business in short ONCE the biggest construction company in Slovakia, Doprastav has narrowly avoided bankruptcy and now wants to write off as much of its debt as possible within a restructuring process. 11 Aug 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Cooling homes with radiators CLIMATE change seems to be impacting not only the environment, but also technological development in Slovakia. Heat producers have recently introduced an idea to use existing radiators to cool down, rather than heat up, rooms, with the added aim of reducing household expenses. 11 Aug 2014 The Slovak Spectator
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Quote of the Week
“It has been a long time since I brought home two gold medals. I have repeated this after some time, and I have to admit that it tastes just as good.” Sprint canoeist Erik Vlček after winning two gold medals with Juraj Tarr in the men’s K2 1000m at the 2014 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships.