Books on Slovakia
% of GDP
Update No: 103 - (28/11/05)
Dzurinda the brave
Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda of Slovakia is becoming a major figure on the
European stage, whereas his predecessor, Vladimir Meciar, was deemed a bogeyman
and a dictator, although he accepted the verdict of the electorate in 1998 and
duly left office.
Dzurinda has been widely admired in European chancelleries and in Brussels, and
indeed in Washington, for unflinchingly continuing on an unpopular reform
course. The largest party in parliament is that of the arch nationalists led by
Meciar, while Dzurinda heads a fragile coalition that has several times
threatened to break up.
In opinion polls, Meciar no longer has the force his Movement for a Democratic
Slovakia (HZDS) was in its prime, having been eclipsed by another
arch-nationalist opposition party, SMER.
What keeps the ruling coalition together is precisely the memories of Meciar and
the threat of arch-nationalists returning. That threat also gives his coalition
forces the edge at election time.
Dzurinda wants cabinet to continue
Dzurinda wants the cabinet to continue with the same parties after the next
On the occasion of the fifth anniversary since the founding of his Slovak
Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), Dzurinda also said that a potential
government dominated by the opposition Smer is a serious threat. He said that a
Smer government would bring populism, social demagoguery, and erosion of reforms
The PM wants to continue to cooperate with his current partners, the Hungarian
Coalition Party and the Christian Democratic Movement, after the 2006 elections.
According to the PM the SDKÚ has become the main guarantor of changes for the
better in Slovakia because it promotes a liberal economy and free civic society.
Survey: Smer would win elections
IF parliamentary elections were to have been held in late October, victory would
have gone to the main opposition party Smer, according to an opinion poll
conducted by the MVK agency.
Smer gained support from 30 per cent of the respondents followed by opposition
party Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), led by Meciar, with 12.7 per
cent of votes.
The ruling Hungarian Coalition Party was supported by 10.6 per cent of
respondents while the Slovak National Party got 8.7 per cent support, followed
by the ruling Christian-Democratic Movement with 8.5 per cent.
The Communist Party would get 8 per cent and the Free Forum 7 per cent.
The prime minister's Slovak Democratic and Christian Union would be the
parliamentary party with the lowest number of seats, with just 6.3 per cent of
the votes. That Dzurinda is prime minister and has a good chance of remaining so
is a testimony to his political talents.
France interested in Slovak heating sector
France wants to take part in the privatisation of six heating utility facilities
in Bratislava, Trnava, Zilina, Zvolen, Martin and Kosice. French Minister of
Foreign Affairs, Phillippe Douste-Blazy, confirmed the information after talks
with his Slovak counterpart, Eduard Kukan, recently, the SME daily reported.
Currently, France is the second biggest foreign investor in Slovakia and it
wants to keep developing its investments in the country, French Minister for
European Affairs, Catherine Colonna, told journalists. "We want to extend
the cooperation in the field of municipal heating, where the company Dalkia is
quite successful already. Two French companies - EDF and Areva - have been
competing to get the opportunity to invest in the power industry. Other French
firms are interested in the protection of EU orders and in equipping Bratislava
airport with a camera system," the French minister said.
Investors to crate jobs in Nitra city
Four investors that have already signed an agreement with the City of Nitra on
plans to build plants in the city's Sever (north) industrial park are set to
create approximately 1,500 jobs, the TASR News Agency reported.
An American supplier of car components, Visteon, planned to launch a trial run
at its newly built facility by the end of November. The city has also signed an
agreement with Danish company Carnitech/Marel, which has set a target of the
summer of 2006 to build a plant for processing rust-resistant materials for the
food industry. Keller (Austria/Germany), a company that operates in the field of
engineering production for car industry, will also locate its plant in the Sever
industrial park. According to Nitra mayor Ferdinancd Vitek, German company
Giesecke Devrient is expected to sign an agreement to produce ATM cards in Nitra
in the near future.