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Slovakia according to the new government

Macro-economy, public finances and economic policies:


* Creating conditions for economic growth of more than 5 percent of GDP per year that should be complemented with a growth of real wages

* Preparing a national employment development strategy and supporting the self-employed, as well as SMEs

* Fulfilling the criteria for euro adoption in 2009

* Rationalizing public administration expenditures; the government will not increase the number of central state bodies


Taxes

* Adopting a cautious approach to the efforts of EU member states to harmonize the tax base within the union

* Increasing the solidarity rate in the national tax system mainly by gradually increasing the non-taxable tax base but also through a possible adjustment to the tax bonus level

* Proposing an increase in the income tax for natural persons who have an above-standard income

* Resolving the market deformations in connection with the activities of natural monopolies and dominant business entities focusing on a consequent regulation of the operation of the market entities; should these efforts fail, the government may consider adopting a "selective tax approach" to such entities [higher taxes]


EU funds

* Creating conditions for the effective and transparent use of EU funds in line with existing legislation, particularly focusing on balancing the economic and social disparities among the Slovak regions while achieving a maximum rate of drawing of the funds

* The drawing of the funds should concentrate on areas such as knowledge-based economy and innovations, support of competitiveness, completing the infrastructure in railways, highways and water transportation, community initiatives to address the problems connected with regional development, selected areas in environment and agriculture


Financial market

* Cooperation with the National Bank of Slovakia in fulfilling its roles in the area of integrated market supervision and other activities

* Supporting the preparation of financial sector products to support the needs of socially weaker populations, particularly in the area of housing and increasing of qualifications

* Securing adequate protection of participants in the financial markets. Proposing measures to ensure better information about products as well as the respective fees; supporting partial compensation of clients damaged by non-banking institutions


Business environment, competitiveness

* The government will respect its commitments resulting from previous legally concluded contracts

* Supporting the process of evaluating the impact of adopted legislation on the business environment

* Supporting the establishment of integrated servicing business centres which unite the state administration and businesspeople under one roof


Privatisation

* The government will not continue privatising or complete the privatisation of state stakes in strategic companies, while the government will define which companies and institutions are considered strategic

* The government guarantees the outcome of the past privatisations provided that the process was carried out in line with the law


Business activities, investments

* Improving conditions for the development of all forms of business activities, yet increased attention will be given to the development of services with higher added value

* Approving measures to improve coordination of support programs and institutions which support the development of small and medium sized businesses in line with the EU's strategy "Think small first"

* Preparing a new law on investment incentives to secure equality between domestic and foreign investors

* Support for the development of industrial parks and zones as a tool for decreasing regional disparities


Energy

* Energy security is seen as part of the national security; A reliable supply of energy can only be secured by a sufficient number of diversified electricity sources

* Preparing an energy security strategy with outlooks to 2030 to ensure the self-sufficiency of Slovakia in the production of electricity

* Supporting the construction and operation of new electricity sources including the third and fourth blocs of Mochovce nuclear power plant


Tourism

* Creating conditions for the operation of the tourist and hotel industries in order to increase the sector's share of GDP

* Supporting investments in tourism and hotel industries

* With assistance from the EU's structural funds, the government will create a system of financial support of municipalities as well as business subjects in the development of main forms of tourism (i.e. city and cultural tourism, spas, winter centres, agro tourism)


Transportation

* Creating conditions for the construction and operation of 100 kilometres of new highways and speedways

* Supporting the modernisation of rail networks that is part of the trans-European railways


Agriculture

* The government perceives the area as one of its priorities including the food industry and forest management

* Contributing to the stability of the business environment in the agriculture sector including full use of the existing EU measures to support agricultural production housing construction and regional development

* Creating conditions for the construction of tenement housing for young families within the possibilities of the state budget

* Building social service facilities for senior citizens, disabled and marginalised persons and groups

* Renewal and revitalisation of the housing fund


Social affairs

* Supporting policies that will secure long term economic to accelerate employment and reduce the jobless rate

* Special attention to Roma communities

* While respecting the need for flexibile labour force, the government will ensure the highest level of protection of employees

* The basic goal of the social policy is securing conditions for a dignified life for all Slovak inhabitants

* In the area of pension reform the government's priority is securing the financial stability of the pay-as-you-go pension system so that together with the second pillar old-age pension savings scheme an adequate pension is ensured

* Resolving the situation of some savers in the second pension pillar for which the savings are not advantageous

* A state support to parents of at least Sk15,000 at the birth of first child


Health care

* Abolishing some fees that are not directly connected to the provision of health care services and securing compensation for the abolished fees for health care providers

* Increasing the insurance payments for the state's insurance clients from 4 to 5 percent of the average income

* Securing increasing public expenditures for health care

* Abolishing the current form of health insurance annual accounting

* Transforming the major health insurers Všeobecnáţ and Spoločnáţ back to public institutions from their current forms as joint stock companies


Education

* Preparing a modern law on education as a basic condition for curriculum reform in the education sector

* New motivating remuneration system for teachers

* Coordination of specialised education with the labour market

* Preparing a revision to the law on universities to help bring about a greater mobility of students, concentrating on the multiple source financing of universities and securing a free of charge university education in the daily form [as opposed to the charged external or distance learning at universities]


Democracy and legal state

* Fight against discrimination, racism and all forms of hatred including extreme nationalism and chauvinism

* Gradual change of the election law to eliminate some of the existing deformations and introduce a new accountability of MPs towards the citizens

* Continued strategy in order to resolve the situation of the Roma minority and to improve their living standards

* Supporting the identity and cultural life of Slovak communities living abroad and developing their national awareness


Justice

* Addressing court delays through various measures including increasing the number of justices for an indefinite period of time

* Preparing measures for a gradual independence of the Supreme Court from the Justice Ministry

* Reevaluating the reform of the organisational structure of courts including the reasons for the abolition of some district courts and analysing the value of court fees

* Creating conditions for increased objective information about court proceedings and verdicts

* Creating conditions for the preparation of a detailed analysis of the activities of special legal tools and institutions [Special Court and Special Attorney's Office, ed. note] especially in terms of the financial and material expenditures, work loads, and effectiveness and proposing measures that will prevent discrimination among judges and attorneys


Public administration

* The government will carry out the necessary steps towards the modernisation of public administration, especially to make it more economic and increase the IT use in the sector

* Analyzing the possibility of reducing the regional state administration bodies and the possibility of transferring some other competencies to the municipal and local bodies


National defence

* Adequately contributing to the defence abilities of the NATO and the military abilities of EU

* Evaluating the participation of the Slovak armed forces in the operations of international crisis management, including the Iraqi Freedom operation and on the basis of a dialogue with allies and Iraqi government proposing a clear and acceptable schedule for the withdrawal of the Slovak unit from Iraq


Foreign policy

* The government pledges to carry out a trustworthy, responsible, and balanced foreign policy using its membership in groups such as the EU, NATO, UN, OECD, OSCE to this end

* The government will support further enlargement of the EU and considers the EU and NATO the main guarantee of Euro-Atlantic security

* As a priority the government will develop cooperation with the EU and NATO states and will increase its relations with the Russian Federation as an important factor of security and prosperity in the EU

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