Accorcding to a study by the Ministry of Labour, the average Slovak must work 22 minutes in order to earn enough money to buy a kilogram of bread at normal store prices. In neighbouring Austria, however, citizens need work only three minutes for the same loaf.
The Ministry study compared the prices of 24 basic goods and services in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary. When these prices were expressed in terms of the average working time needed to buy each product, Slovakia was found to have the most expensive goods and services in 17 of 24 categories.
For example, a liter of milk costs a Slovak worker 20 minutes of labour, but requires only 12 minutes of the average Czech and three minutes of an Austrian. A pint of domestic beer costs 13 minutes in Slovakia, 10 minutes in the Czech Republic and 2.7 minutes in Austria. A quarter kilo of coffee is even more expensive in Slovakia, costing over 90 minutes of work compared to 45 minutes in the Czech Republic and less than eight in Austria.
8. Mar 1999 at 0:00 | From press reports of TASR and SITA