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Business climate worse, say firms

THE BUSINESS environment in Slovakia deteriorated during the first quarter of 2012, as measured by the Business Environment Index prepared by the Slovak Business Alliance (PAS) from a survey of its members. It fell to 85.1 points, a drop of 2.24 percent compared with the fourth quarter of 2011, the SITA newswire reported.

THE BUSINESS environment in Slovakia deteriorated during the first quarter of 2012, as measured by the Business Environment Index prepared by the Slovak Business Alliance (PAS) from a survey of its members. It fell to 85.1 points, a drop of 2.24 percent compared with the fourth quarter of 2011, the SITA newswire reported.

Robert Kičina, the executive director of the alliance, told SITA that the negative sentiments of business leaders stem from considerable instability in legal rules, the change in the government, and concerns about a potential increase in tax and payroll levies for particular businesses. He added that businesses are primarily dissatisfied with the enforceability of the law and the functioning of the judiciary in Slovakia.

“The judiciary is among the most heavily criticised spheres over the long term, while prompt removal of imperfections in the sphere of the enforceability of the law and acceleration of court proceedings are considered to be necessary for the fight against murky practices,” Kičina stated, as quoted by SITA.

Business people also negatively evaluated the functionality of the political system. “The negative evaluation of this issue is associated with the resignation of the outgoing government and its pro-reform activities, as well as topics in the pre-election campaign. The goals declared by the new government in economic and financial policy have stirred concerns as well,” Kičina said, as quoted by SITA.

According to PAS’ survey, businesses were dissatisfied in the first quarter with the work of state institutions and red tape, price stability, the effectiveness of the state’s economic performance, the state’s attitude to business aid and the reliability and financial discipline of trade partners.
The business people did praise the openness of business in Slovakia, new investments and technological development, as well as regulation of cross-border trade.

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