State handed out billions in aid

OVER 2005, Slovakia provided Sk10.3 billion (Ř270 million) in state aid for foreign investments, according to a report presented to the cabinet.

Since 1999, when the Act on State Aid took effect, more than Sk50 billion in state assistance has been handed out to support employment, education, regional economic growth and the investing companies.

In 2005, state aid was 12 percent higher than in 2004, the SME daily wrote. The government supported regional development, including tax breaks for investors and assistance in building infrastructure, with nearly Sk3.9 billion.

The state aid also includes incentives for investors. Since 2003, the Economy Ministry has approved Sk14.8 billion in state incentives. The biggest share has gone to a pair of carmakers that recently settled in Slovakia - PSA Peugeot Citroen, which has received more than Sk5 billion, and Kia, which has got Sk500 million more than that.

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