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IN SHORT

Builders call for state support

REPRESENTATIVES of Slovakia's building sector have criticised Slovakia's plans to reduce current government incentives for housing construction.

According to the Association of Construction Entrepreneurs head František Slávik, Slovakia has only 310 flats per 1,000 residents, compared to an EU average of 400, negatively influencing young families and limiting labour force mobility.

The association, along with other trade and employment groups, is proposing that the government preserve supports for housing construction such as the State Housing Development Fund (SFRB) and bonuses for mortgage loans and housing construction savings accounts.

These state support mechanisms have been targeted for reduction in the draft budget proposed by Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš (see article, this page).

The group of associations is also proposing the adoption of principles for indirect support of housing development with an emphasis on reconstruction, revitalization and thermal insulation of older concrete block apartments.

Slávik said that Slovakia's construction sector compares unfavourably to those in EU countries. Employment in the sector is less than 5 per cent of the Slovak workforce, while it reaches 10 per cent in the EU. Furthermore, said Slávik, the Slovak construction sector accounts for only 4 per cent of GDP, while in the EU it can reach up to 12 per cent.

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