Customers shunned mandated banking product – Banks in Slovakia were obliged to offer customers a ‘basic banking product’ beginning in October but the idea failed to attract many customers, with the banks saying that the mandated package was unnecessary and poorly designed. The banks priced the package higher than similar services they offered and promoted, claiming that the higher fees were required because of the kinds of services that had to be included in the package. The previous government had instructed the banks to offer this ‘basic banking product’ – defined as an identical package of services across all banks – with the aim of helping customers to better understand banking fees and to gain easier access to services connected to their current account.
Renewable energy plan adopted – On October 6, the cabinet adopted the National Action Plan for Renewable Energy Sources, stipulating the country’s objectives as an EU member state to increase the share of energy used in transport, generation of electricity, heating and cooling production that is generated from renewable sources by 2020. Slovakia committed to increase the proportion of renewable energy from 6.7 percent of final gross consumption in 2005 to 14 percent in 2020. The plan states that the primary focus should be on exploitation of biomass.
Deficit put at 7.9 percent of GDP – Slovakia closed 2009 with a general government deficit of 7.9 percent of GDP and Eurostat reported that the country's total public debt reached 35.4 percent of GDP. The Finance Ministry commented that Slovakia was among the less responsible EU states because only seven of 26 countries that provided data to Eurostate reported a larger budget deficit for 2009 than Slovakia. However, in terms of overall public debt as a percentage of GDP, Slovakia's remained among the lowest in the EU in 2009.
20. Dec 2010 at 0:00 | Jana Liptáková