GDP growth revised down – The National Bank of Slovakia in early December slightly revised its estimate of GDP growth in Slovakia for 2010, lowering it by 0.1 percentage points to 4.2 percent. The NBS kept its estimate of GDP growth at 3 percent for 2011 and projected GDP growth for 2012 to reach 4 percent. Slovakia’s economy, as measured by GDP, contracted by 4.7 percent over the course of 2009. GDP grew 3.8 percent in the third quarter of 2010 year-on-year, according to the Slovak Statistics Office, following year-on-year GDP growth of 4.7 and 4.2 percent during the first and second quarters of the year.
State budget approved – On December 9, the Slovak Parliament adopted the state budget for 2011. The budget projects a government deficit of €3.81 billion for 2011, or 4.9 percent of gross domestic product, with revenues of €13.148 billion and expenditures of €16.958 billion.
Third PPP project cancelled – The ruling coalition parties agreed on December 13 to scrap the third public-private partnership (PPP) project for construction of the D1 highway section between Hričovské Podhradie and Dubná Skala near Žilina. The coalition said the highway can be built more cheaply using state and EU funds but others viewed the cancellation of the first and third PPP packages as political decisions. Žilinská Diaľnica, a consortium led by German company Hochtief, was to build about 30 km of the highway under the package. Of the three PPPs, the third was the most technically demanding as it included a 7.5-kilometre tunnel between Višňové and Dubná Skala. The government said construction of these stretches will start in 2011, beginning with the Višňové tunnel.
High-speed rail travel launched – On December 13, a high-speed 160-km/hour train service was launched on reconstructed railway tracks between Bratislava and Nové Mesto nad Váhom. Two InterCity trains will travel at this speed for now. The reconstruction of this 100-km section of track took 10 years and cost about €490 million. The higher speed cuts the travel time by 8-9 minutes. Improvement of the railway tracks will continue eastward.
Photovoltaic sources snubbed – On December 15 parliament adopted a revision to the law on support for renewable energy that will limit support for photovoltaic power stations to only those mounted on roofs and external walls up to an installed capacity of 100 kilowatts. The revision also established a minimum period for return on investment of 12 years.
20. Dec 2010 at 0:00 | Jana Liptáková