Books on Slovakia
% of GDP
Update No: 102 - (27/10/05)
Slovakia offers Croatia to assist in EU negotiations
Slovakia was internationally shunned during the hardline rule of Prime Minister
Vladimir Meciar, who put strains on democracy and the rule of law until Mikulas
Dzurinda took power in 1998 and implemented rapid political and economic
reforms. It is now being courted on all sides and its good offices sought by
aspirants to EU membership, which it obtained itself last year.
Croatia was also isolated during the authoritarian leadership of late President
Franjo Tudjman, who fomented nationalist violence against the country's Serb
minority. The country began implementing sweeping democratic changes after his
death in 1999.
Slovakia's prime minister on October 13th offered his country's assistance to
Croatia as it moves toward possible EU and NATO membership. Slovakia was one of
10 mostly former eastern bloc countries to join the EU and NATO last year.
Croatia opened membership talks with the EU in early October and hopes to win
membership by 2009. Zagreb has been busy priming its negotiators for tough talks
on issues ranging from legislation to traffic regulations, the AP reports.
Formerly part of Czechoslovakia until 1993, Slovakia shares a similar history
with Croatia, which was a part of the old Yugoslav federation until it won
independence in 1992. Both countries also took detours on the road to democracy
and the European mainstream.
Slight win ends Slovakia deadlock
Political deadlock in Slovakia has ended after the coalition government
succeeded in winning just enough votes in parliament to open the session.
Opposition MPs had been boycotting parliament for more than a week in
mid-October in a bid to force Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda to call early
But Mr Dzurinda secured support for his administration, winning a parliamentary
majority by just one vote. Some independent deputies gave him the support he
The opposition parties wanted to show that the government had lost the mandate
to rule and an early election was needed. Correspondents say the slim majority
means the coalition would still remain vulnerable to calls for early elections.
The four parties in the centre-right coalition are the Christian Democrats, ANO,
the Party of Hungarian Coalition and Dzurinda's Slovak Democratic and Christian
The World Bank accused of interference
The World Bank is being accused of interfering in Slovak domestic politics by
funding a US consultant's advice to Mikulas Dzurinda, the prime minister, on how
to defend his ambitious economic reforms before next year's general election.
The consultant's report - which was submitted to the cabinet in July -
recommends that the government emphasise the opposition's intention to destroy
its widely praised,but unpopular, reform programme. Dzurinda wins the applaudita
of Brussels and Washington, but not his own people, a predicament of many a
modernizer in Central Europe today.
KIA production plans ahead of schedule
KIA Motors new plant near Zilina should start producing cars two months earlier
than originally planned, Finance Minister, Ivan Miklos, said after a meeting
with KIA Motors President Chung Eui-Sun on September 15th, The Slovak Spectator
According to the original plan, KIA should start producing cars at full capacity
in December 2006. The new plan foresees full production launching in October
2006, and trial production starting in February or March of that year. An
earlier start date will boost KIA's investments in Slovakia from the original
700 million Euro to 830 million Euro.
FOREIGN ECONOMIC COOPERATION
Serbia and Slovakia sign economic cooperation deal
Serbia-Montenegro and Slovakia signed an agreement on economic cooperation
aiming at increasing the trade transactions between the two countries and
therefore supporting each other's economies, News Media reported on October 5th.
The deal was signed by Slovakia's Foreign Minister, Eduard Kukan, during his
visit to Belgrade. The trade between Serbia-Montenegro and Slovakia was 147
million Euro in 2004, but the new agreement aims at increasing it.
Slovakia to contribute 2m Euro to IDA
Based on a Slovak Finance Ministry proposal approved by the cabinet recently,
Slovakia will contribute 2.07m Euro (76.3m Slovak crowns) to the International
Development Agency (IDA) between 2006 and 2008, The Slovak Spectator reported.
IDA provides interest-free loans and grants to enhance economic growth and
increase living standards in the poorest countries in the world, where gross
national product failed to reach US$865 per capita in 2002 and the financial
situation does not allow them to take standard loans to the International Bank
for Reconstruction and Development. At the moment, 81 countries across the world
with a 2.5 billion population meet these criteria.
IDA was established in 1960 and is one of five World Bank institutions. It is
interconnected with the IBRD and registered 165 members as of March 31, 2005.
MINERALS & METALS
Canadian aluminium company Alcan announced investment plans
Canadian aluminium company Alcan announced on its website that it plans to
invest US$35m (28m Euro) in Slovakia, The Slovak Spectator reported on September
Alcan plans to build a new factory in Slovakia for the production of pressed
aluminium products intended mainly for the building sector in Eastern Europe.
Tender for highway construction
Slovakia's national highway company (NDS) began a public tender on October 1st
to find a supplier for the first part of the Mengusovce-Janovce highway. The NDS
estimates that the construction of the eight-kilometre strip will cost between
four billion Slovak crowns (100 million Euro) and 4.7 billion crowns (122
million Euro), The Slovak Spectator reported.
Construction works on the motorway, tunnel, bridges, supporting and retaining
walls, as well as engineering networks, should start on December 1, 2005. The
NDS estimates that the project will be finished by December 2008.
This is the third planned tender concerning the highway.
The previous was cancelled by the public procurement authority, UVO. The stretch
is a part of a 26-kilometre-long highway. Works on the other stretches started