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President and Prime Minister open discussion on Slovakia's future

On October 6, Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič, Prime Minister Robert Fico and representatives of the country's academics opened a nationwide discussion on a long-term vision for the development of Slovak society until 2030.

On October 6, Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič, Prime Minister Robert Fico and representatives of the country's academics opened a nationwide discussion on a long-term vision for the development of Slovak society until 2030.

The time has come when it is the duty of every person, coalition, opposition or non-governmental sector to join a discussion on such long-term development of Slovakia, the panel said.

The vision takes into consideration global crises that may arise, which might effect economic growth, including in Slovakia. The president called on all the parliamentary parties, both coalition and opposition ones, to participate in the discussion.

He emphasised that an over a one-hundred member team had worked on it, chiefly of the Slovak Science Academy (SAV) and universities. The government wants to discuss it also with social partners, representatives of employers, employees, the Association of Towns and Villages, and other interested organisations. Milan Šikula, head of the SAV Economy Department, pointed out that the vision should not be understood as a closed document. It will only be meaningful if it is continuously updated and supplemented, he said.

Fico said that the government wants above all that the financial crisis,
which could lead to a recession, does not pressure Slovakia's economy. He added that the government was expecting economic growth of 6.5 percent when drafting the budget.

The government closely watches what effect the crisis has on prominent European countries as well as whether their economic growth prognoses change. SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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