“I do not think that Bratislava needs another loan,” Katarína Augustinič, Bratislava councillor and the head of the caucus of Bratislava Inak (Bratislava Differently) wrote in a press release as cited by the SITA newswire. “We require a clear conceptual solution, which will be a separate chapter in the state budget [for Bratislava].” I consider the offer of the cabinet to be a mockery by which the cabinet showed its back to all citizens of Bratislava, equally as all preceding cabinets.”
The Slovak cabinet approved the loan at its session on July 8. The money should be used for development and support of functions of Bratislava as the capital, financing of significant infrastructure investments, transport projects or co-financing of projects from EU funds. The city should pay back the money by the end of 2018. The cabinet provided a loan to Bratislava already last year of €2.5 million, to be used for development transport projects covered by EU funds or purchases of trolleybuses and trams. Originally Bratislava was to pay the first instalment this October and the second one a year later. However, Bratislava asked for a later payment date.
Mayor Nesrovnal appraised the approval of the loan.
“Bratislava needs these finances,” Nesrovnal told SITA.
Councillors from the Bratislava Inak caucus perceive Bratislava as already too indebted and are calling for a conceptual solution of its financing.
“Bratislava fulfils the function of the capital,” said Augustinič. “Apart from this it provides services to more than 100,000 citizens who do not have their permanent residence here but use its public transport, roads and other public services. But we do not get any money for this.”
Augustinič pointed out that Bratislava is under-financed compared to other capitals, when, for example the budget of Prague is more than €1,000 per citizen and in Bratislava it is about €220. She also estimates that due to inaccurate results of the census from 2011 Bratislava is losing €18 million annually.