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Constitution will protect water Business in short Locked 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 Locked 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 Locked 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 Locked 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
Russia pledges to fulfil gas contracts AS SLOVAK Economy Minister Pavol Pavlis journeyed to Moscow for gas talks on October 22, power brokers in Brussels were paving the way for a deal between Russia and Ukraine over renewing supply and paying off outstanding debts – a development that would go a long way in calming fears across Europe as the weather chills. 27 Oct 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Free trains arrive before elections THE ROBERT Fico cabinet is meeting another promise from its €250 million social-economic package, preparing to compensate the nation for heavy consolidation measures. From November 17 on, rail tickets will be free for children, students and pensioners. While the opposition calls it a populist measure prepared by the ruling party prior to the local elections, railway experts see it as an unsystematic step toward distorting the public transportation market. 27 Oct 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Slovak Telekom fined Business in short THE EUROPEAN Commission has fined Slovak Telekom (ST) and its parent company Deutsche Telekom €38.84 million for the abuse of their dominant position on the market. Deutsche Telekom (DT) also received an additional fine of €31.07 million to prevent recidivism. Thus the total fine of ST and Deutsche Telekom is almost €70 million. 20 Oct 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Minimum monthly wage up 7.95 % Business in short THE MINIMUM monthly wage in Slovakia will go up from €352 in 2014 to €380 (€2.184 per hour) in 2015, which represents an increase of €28 or 7.95 percent. The cabinet approved the increase on October 14 after the tripartite consisting of representatives of the government, employers and trade unions had failed to reach a consensus on the matter. 20 Oct 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Government stamps to go electronic ANNOYING travel from government offices to postal offices and back, all for a government stamp called a “kolok” to prove payment for that office’s service will be a thing of the past as starting next year a new electronic stamping system goes into effect. Stamps in the current form will be used until the end of 2014 when the state will introduce a new electronic stamping system which allows citizens to buy an e-stamp directly in the office. By the end of the year, some payments for government services will be available also via mobile phones. Current paper stamps will be available until the end of November and valid until the end of the 2014, the SITA newswire reported. 20 Oct 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Draft budget sparks debate FREE trains for students and seniors or wages for scientists? Which is more important?Prime Minister Robert Fico’s government has made their choice as students and pensioners are set to travel for free, a decision that will cost the state budget about €13 million, a number similar to the sum by which the state is going to reduce the budget of Slovakia’s biggest scientific institution, the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAV) for 2015. The scientists are letting it be known they are none too happy with the decision. 20 Oct 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Slovakia drops in eco freedom index Business in short ECONOMIC freedom in Slovakia dropped compared to last year. According to the latest Economic Freedom of the World 2014 report, based on 2012 statistics, it placed 45th out of 152 compared countries, nine positions down from its 2013 ranking. The country received 7.34 out of 10 points, the SITA newswire reported on October 7. 13 Oct 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Slovakia seeks EU compensation Business in short SLOVAKIA has experienced reduced Russian natural gas supplies via Ukraine for about one month. While Russian officials cite technicalities as an explanation, the reduced supplies are also perceived as a political message to Slovakia for sending gas back to Ukraine to which Russia cut gas supplies in June after a price dispute. As Slovakia launched the reverse gas flow to Ukraine within measures taken by the EU to help Ukraine, Slovakia is now asking for compensation from Brussels. 13 Oct 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Towns lower debt, score low in transparency MUNICIPALITIES did a good job with decreasing their debts in last the three years, but steps to improve transparency have stalled, according to reports by the Institute for Economic and Social Reforms (INEKO) economic think tank and Transparency International Slovakia (TIS). 13 Oct 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Mochovce budget may rise again THE THIRD block of the nuclear power station of Slovenské Elektrárne in Mochovce is about 80 percent complete and will be put into commercial operation in the third quarter of 2016 and the fourth a year after that, according to Slovenské Elektrárne (SE). 13 Oct 2014 The Slovak Spectator
Váhostav asks for restructuring Business in short THE CONSTRUCTION company Váhostav-SK is trying to avoid bankruptcy, and has asked the court for protection from creditors and to launch the restructuring process. Troubles pressing one of the biggest construction companies have already created one victim, when the company Finasist of Juraj Široký, one of Váhostav’s shareholders, dismissed Ján Kato from his post as the firm’s CEO and chairman of the board of directors on September 26. He was replaced by Marián Moravčík, who was serving as the executive director of the Slovak Investment and Trade Development Agency (SARIO). 6 Oct 2014 The Slovak Spectator
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Quote of the Week
“From my point of view, the revision to the constitution did not ban exports of water from Slovakia: it only turned it into a tear-off calendar.” Most-Híd MP Zsolt Simon comments on passing the constitutional amendment banning water exports.