Incentives package brings Slovakia up to regional par
The government approved a Law on Investment Stimuli May 16, allowing foreign and domestic investors to qualify for 10 year tax holidays.
Based on EU policies stressing development of poorer regions, companies investing in Slovak regions with higher than 75% GDP of the EU average will not qualify for the incentives. The restriction would only apply in the Bratislava region, which has GDP at 99% of the EU average.
The law was welcomed by investors and analysts who said that it finally put Slovakia on par with its regional neighbours the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, which include 10-year tax holidays as part of their own investment packages.
At present Slovakia offers investors only a five year 100% tax holiday and an additional five year 50% tax holiday.
Apart from the 10 year tax holiday, the package offers investors subsidies of 10,000 crowns for requalification of a single employee as well as a subsidy of between 30,000 to 160,000 crowns for creation of a new job, depending on the level of unemployment in the region.
The initial investment needed to qualify for the tax holiday is 400 million crowns, with the figure being halved in regions with an unemployment rate above 10%.
Question marks remain over Imuna tender
Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda, during a question hour in parliament May 17, said that there are six parties interested in privatising Imuna Šarišské Michaľany, Slovakia's only maker of blood plasma.
He said the reason that the winners of a previous tender for Imuna, the Slovak-American firm Interaqua, had been barred from buying Imuna by the cabinet, was that Interaqua had been discovered to have unpaid tax and social security dues, which had lowered its credibility.
ŽSR chief Egyed holds on to top job
Andrej Egyed, director of the ŽSR state railways company, held on to his post during a May 17 meeting of the ŽSR board of control.
Egyed had been under a cloud since media reported he had signed 30 billion Slovak crowns in promissory notes on ŽSR's account without notifying his superiors last November.
Egyed denie he did anything wrong in signing the notes. Transport Minister Jozef Macejko had said that if it were found true he had signed the notes he would ask for Egyed's recall.
Compiled by Ed Holt from SITA, TASR and press reports
28. May 2001 at 0:00