During her visit to the USA, Prime Minister Iveta Radičová attended a symposium entitled ‘Road to Prosperity’ where she talked about the current economic situation and Slovakia’s position on the eurozone debt crisis. The event was held in the Harvard Club in New York on September 20 and was attended by 150 businessmen, financiers and representatives of US companies, the Slovak Government Office reported.
“Slovakia is a country that is attractive to foreign investors, whose economy is still growing in spite of the current economic situation in the world,” Radičová said, according to a press release by the office.
The Slovak premier pointed out that the most difficult task of all governments in the current economic situation is to restore credibility in the eyes of the public and investors. According to Radičová, the Slovak government is trying to achieve this through several reforms intended to increase the transparency of the state administration and judiciary, and through austerity measures focused on increasing the credibility of the use of public money. She added that an important step to improve the business environment in Slovakia was the recent acceptance of the amendment to the Labour Code.
On the other hand, Radičová emphasised that the success of Slovakia depends not only on domestic reforms, but also the European Union’s solutions to the debt crisis. She outlined three possible ways in which this situation could develop.
The first scenario is the disintegration of the eurozone, which she said could cause deep recession for all its member countries. The second is the establishment of a fiscal union. However, the problem is that such project would have to be supported by all European voters and it is clear that the inhabitants of Slovakia would not agree to such a proposal.
The last scenario is, according to Radičová, the recovery of old principles of responsibility, including stricter rules in the Stability and Growth Pact, implementation of constitutional budget rules, introduction of a mechanism for controlled bankruptcy, and better regulation of the banking sector.
“The establishment of a safety net, such as the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), at the present time only has meaning as a last defence in critical situations, for example when problems with liquidity of member states threaten the whole eurozone,” Radičová said, as quoted in the press release, adding that the ESM is not an effective way to solve the wider problems of indebted countries.
Radičová also met the senior vice-president of Honeywell, Mark Jameson. His company, which produces measuring, regulating and automating technologies, plans to establish a new branch near Prešov, where it will create 400 new jobs.
Source: Government Office press release
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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21. Sep 2011 at 10:00