November: The year in business

The European Investment Bank opened its first permanent office in Bratislava and more.

The new St Michael’s Hospital in Bratislava was ceremonially opened on November 3.The new St Michael’s Hospital in Bratislava was ceremonially opened on November 3. (Source: TASR)

NOVEMBER

Dozens of IT experts prepared a proposal aimed at changing the approach of state authorities regarding informatisation of Slovak society. They launched a website Slovensko.digital, on which they called upon the state to be more transparent and effective.

The new St Michael’s Hospital in Bratislava was ceremonially opened on November 3. The construction of the new building, where the foundation stone was laid in September 2013, cost €50 million excluding VAT. The facility, which falls under the remit of the Interior Ministry, will mainly serve the general public.

Electricity prices for households are set to fall by an average of 1 percent in 2016, with gas prices projected to shrink by 3.6 percent.

Slovakia has a budget for the election year of 2016, as the parliament, dominated by deputies of the Smer ruling party, passed the law of the year after a two-day discussion. The general government deficit is projected to reach the level of 1.93 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016 and should gradually decrease over the next few years with 2018 being the year of achieving a balanced budget. In absolute terms, the deficit is to reach €1.557 billion in 2016; the budget also presumes a decrease of public debt to 52.1 percent of GDP.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) officially opened its first permanent office in Bratislava in early November. The office will ensure its physical presence in Slovakia and market accessibility. At the ceremony Finance Minister Peter Kažimír and EIB Vice-President László Baranyay signed a €350 million loan from the EIB to co-finance priority projects cleared for financing from EU funds in the programme period of 2014-2020.

The Transport Ministry on November 6 opened a tender for train service between Bratislava and Banská Bystrica which could improve the current connection as early as next year. The winner should operate at least eight train units with the capacity of 530 seats each, on the route Bratislava – Šurany – Zvolen – Banská Bystrica. The tender for 1.5 million train kilometres will be effective for 10 years.

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