Slovakia, officially the Slovak Republic, is a country in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south. Slovakia's territory spans about 49,000 square kilometers (19,000 sq. mi) and is mostly mountainous. The population is over 5 million and comprises mostly ethnic Slovaks. The capital and largest city is Bratislava. The official language is Slovak, a member of the Slavic language family.
Since the establishment of the Slovak Republic in January 1993, Slovakia has undergone a transition from a centrally planned economy to a free market economy, a process which some observers were to believe was slowed in the 1994–98 period due to the crony capitalism and other fiscal policies of Prime Minister Vladimír Me?iar's government. While economic growth and other fundamentals improved steadily during Me?iar's the term, public and private debt and trade deficits also rose, and privatization was uneven. Real annual GDP growth peaked at 6.5% in 1995 but declined to 1.3% in 1999.
Two governments of the "liberal-conservative" Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda (1998–2006) pursued policies of macroeconomic stabilization and market-oriented structural reforms. Nearly the entire economy has now been privatized, and foreign investment has picked up. Economic growth exceeded expectations in the early 2000s, despite the recession in key export markets. In 2001 policies of macroeconomic stabilization and structural reform led to spiraling unemployment. Unemployment peaked at 19.2% (Eurostat regional indicators) in 2001 and though it has fallen to (depending on the methodology) 9.8% or 13.5% as of September 2006, it remains a problem. Solid domestic demand boosted economic growth to 4.1% in 2002. Strong export growth, in turn, pushed economic growth to a still-strong 4.2% in 2003 and 5.4% in 2004, despite a downturn in household consumption. Multiple reasons entailed a GDP growth of 6% in 2005. Headline consumer price inflation dropped from 26% in 1993 to an average rate of 7.5% in 2004, though this was boosted by hikes in subsidized utility prices ahead of Slovakia's accession to the European Union. In July 2005, the inflation rate dropped to 2.0% and is projected at less than 3% in 2005 and 2.5% in 2006. In 2006, Slovakia reached the highest economic growth (8.9%) among the members of OECD and the third highest in the EU (just behind Estonia and Latvia). The country has had difficulties addressing regional imbalances in wealth and employment. GDP per capita ranges from 178% of EU average in Bratislava to only 49% in Eastern Slovakia.
|Agriculture||Grains, potatoes, sugar beets, fruits, pigs, cattle, poultry & forest products.|
|Manufacture||Automotive, electronics, mechanical, chemicals & information technology.|
|Services (Including financial)||59.8% (2012 estimate)|
|Vseobecna Uverova Banka||Banking|
Bratislava Stock Exchange (BSSE) is a Stock Exchange in Bratislava, that began its existence on 15 March 1991 according to the adjudication of Ministry of Finance of Slovakia in 1990. BSSE is the only organizer of the market with the security papers in Slovakia. It is in operation since 21 June 2001.
The trading started at BSSE on 6 April 1993. The seat of the stock exchange is Vysoká 17, Bratislava. The official stock index for the Bratislava Stock Exchange is SAX (abbr. from Slovenský akciový index; in Slovak: Slovak Share Index). It is a capital-weighted index based on a comparison of market capitalization selected set of shares with a market capitalization of the same set of the reference date. It is an index that reflects the overall change of assets associated with investing in shares, which are included in the index. It includes changes in prices as well as dividend income and income related to changes in the size of the share capital. The initial value of the index is 100 points and binds to the date of the 14 September 1993.
The operation of BSSE is based on a membership principle, under which only subjects that are investment firms, assets management companies, foreign investment firms or alternatively foreign asset management companies and which fulfilled requirements stipulated in law and in Stock Exchange Rules may become a stock exchange member. According to the Stock Exchange Rules, there can be a temporary membership, which is limited for the period of one year, and regular membership - which is permanent. When concluding stock exchange transactions a stock exchange member always acts on its behalf, its own account or the account of their client and is obliged to act in accordance with the Stock Exchange Rules and with relevant general legally binding regulations. In compliance with the law, the National Bank of Slovakia is an authorized person that can conclude stock exchange transactions; however it may not provide purchase and sell services for third parties.
In spite of the excellent economic results so far, Slovakia is now involved in a major economic slowdown caused by the recession in the European Union. Initially, Slovakia was not affected by the global financial crisis, unlike the other Central European economies (Hungary, the Czech Republic, Romania, and Poland have reported deep declines in the stock exchange listings and national currency exchange rates). In the period in question, Slovakia managed to avoid the negative consequences of the crisis because it had adopted the convergence criteria and strongly tied the Slovak crown to the euro by keeping it within the ERM2 corridor4 (the euro depreciated the least during the financial crisis). However, when the financial crisis triggered a global recession in late 2008, it turned out that the Slovak economy was involved in a major slowdown, due to the decreasing demand for Slovakia’s commodities in the country’s main trade partners and the decline in Slovakia’s exports, as confirmed by preliminary partial statistical data according to which Slovakia’s industrial production decreased by 9,2% in the year to November 2008, experiencing the deepest decline in history, while exports decreased by 15.6%5. Nevertheless, according to the newest projections of the European Commission, Slovakia is among those EU (and Central European) economies which are tackling the crisis most effectively. The projected GDP growth in 2009 should amount to 2.7%. The much lower GDP growth in comparison to the previous years (the 2008 GDP growth will probably be around 7%) will be due to the lower dynamics of exports (exports are expected to grow by 0.7% in 2009, compared to 13.8% in 2007)6. This dramatic slump is connected with the crisis affecting the automotive industry, which accounts for as much as 30% of Slovakia’s exports. The economic slowdown may be even worse, as the analyses presented do not take into account the consequences of the Russian-Ukrainian gas crisis and the interrupted gas supplies in January 2009, when more than one thousand of the largest industrial gas consumers had no gas supplies, as a result of which some of them had to stop production. According to preliminary estimates, the losses may even reach €2 billion. Preliminary assessments of the Slovak Finance Ministry indicate that the GDP may decrease as a consequence of the gas crisis by 1–1.5% of the GDP.
The economic crisis will be the most serious test of the Fico government’s efficacy. For a long time, the government took no action apart from amending the 2009 draft budget and reducing the GDP growth forecasts from 6 to 4.6% (which is still a very optimistic projection, as demonstrated by the European Commission’s most recent assessments). The government’s general program of measures to fight the economic crisis was announced only on 27 January 2009. The program provides for €332 million (around 0.5% of the GDP) to be allocated to support businesses in Slovakia, and for more flexible labor legislation to be enacted. According to PM Fico, the budget deficit will not be increased, which is a very positive signal for foreign investors. The funds for the program implementation are to be raised by making cuts in spending on the administration. If Fico fulfils his pledge, Slovakia may be in a position to tackle the crisis better than any other country in the region.
The Slavs arrived in the territory of present-day Slovakia in the 5th and 6th centuries. In the 7th century, they played a significant role in the creation of Samo's Empire and in the 9th century established the Principality of Nitra. In the 10th century, the territory was integrated into the Kingdom of Hungary, which itself became part of the Habsburg Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. After World War I and the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Slovaks and Czechs established Czechoslovakia. A separate Slovak Republic (1939–1945) existed in World War II as a client state of Nazi Germany. In 1945, Czechoslovakia was reestablished under communist rule as a Soviet satellite. Slovakia became an independent state on 1 January 1993 after the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia. Slovakia is a high-income advanced economy. The country joined the European Union in 2004 and the Eurozone on 1 January 2009. Slovakia is also a member of the Schengen Area, NATO, the United Nations, the OECD and the WTO.
The end of Communist rule in Czechoslovakia in 1989, during the peaceful Velvet Revolution, was followed once again by the country's dissolution, this time into two successor states. In July 1992 Slovakia, led by Prime Minister Vladimír Me?iar, declared itself a sovereign state, meaning that its laws took precedence over those of the federal government. Throughout the autumn of 1992, Me?iar and Czech Prime Minister Václav Klaus negotiated the details for disbanding the federation. In November the federal parliament voted to dissolve the country officially on 31 December 1992. The Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic went their separate ways after 1 January 1993, an event sometimes called the Velvet Divorce. Slovakia has remained a close partner with the Czech Republic. Both countries cooperate with Hungary and Poland in the Visegrád Group. Slovakia became a member of NATO on 29 March 2004 and of the European Union on 1 May 2004. On 1 January 2009, Slovakia adopted the Euro as its national currency.
The Slovak koruna or Slovak crown (Slovak: slovenská koruna, literally meaning Slovak crown) was the currency of Slovakia between 8 February 1993 and 31 December 2008, and could be used for cash payment until 16 January 2009. It is no longer the official Slovak currency. The ISO 4217 code was SKK and the local abbreviation was Sk. The Slovak crown (koruna) was also the currency of the Nazi-era Slovak Republic between 1939 and 1945. Both korunas were subdivided into 100 haliers. The abbreviation is placed after the numeric value. Slovakia switched its currency from the koruna to the euro on 1 January 2009, at a rate of 30.1260 korunas to the euro. In the Slovak language, the nouns "koruna" and "halier" both assume two plural forms. "Koruny" and "haliere" appears after the numbers 2, 3 and 4 and in generic (uncountable) context, with "korún" and "halierov" being used after other numbers. The latter forms also correspond to genitive used in plural.
The official currency in Slovakia is Euro. In years 1993-2008, it was the Slovak Crown (Koruna). During your visit, you may change your money in any bank in Slovakia or use an ATM to get cash. In the Czechoslovak federation (prior to 1993) the Czechoslovak Koruna (= 100 halierov / hellers) was used. As the country split in 1993, two new currencies were introduced: Czech Koruna and Slovak Koruna. Both Korunas had initially the same value as the old Czechoslovak Koruna. Due to different economic performances of the two heirs of the federation, the Czech Koruna became about 20-30% more valuable the Slovak one. As both countries joined the European Union on 1 May 2004, the march on the road to the common European currency has started. The Euro replaced the Slovak crown (koruna) in 2009. In Czechia still the Czech crown is used.
In 1939, coins were introduced in denominations of 10 halierov, 5 and 20 korunas, with 20 and 50 haliers and 1 koruna added in 1940. The 10 and 20 haliers were bronze, the 50 haliers, and 1 koruna cupronickel, the 5 korunas nickel and the 20 korunas were silver. In 1942, zinc 5 haliers were introduced and aluminium replaced bronze in the 20 haliers. Aluminium 50 haliers followed in 1943. Silver 10 and 50 korunas were introduced in 1944. Compared to the pre-war Czechoslovak koruna, the Slovak koruna coins had an additional 50 Ks, the silver content of the 10 and 20 Ks coins was reduced from 700 ‰ to 500 ‰ and all but 5 Ks shrank in physical sizes. The designers were Anton Hám, Andrej Peter, Gejza Angyal, Ladislav Majerský, and František Štefunko. Coins were minted in the Kremnica mint.
At midnight on 31 December 1992, the Czechoslovak Republic bifurcated into the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic. In 1993, the newly independent Slovakia introduced its own koruna, replacing the Czechoslovak koruna at par. Provisional banknotes were issued in denominations of 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1,000 korún by affixing stamps bearing the coat of arms of Slovakia and the denomination to Czechoslovak banknotes. The main motifs on the obverses of the banknotes represent important people living in the territory of the present Slovakia in various historical eras. On the reverses, these motifs are completed by depicting places where these people lived and were active. Slovak banknotes denominated in koruny can be exchanged for euros indefinitely.
|National Song||"Nad Tatrou sa blýska"|
|GDP||170.052 Billion USD|
|GDP Growth Rate||3.6 Percent|
|GDP Per Capita||$31338.806 (PPP)|
< 1.0% Muslims
< 1.0% Hindus
< 1.0% Buddhists
< 1.0% Jews
< 1.0% Other Religions
President – Andrej Kiska
Prime Minister – Peter Pellegrini
|Website||Go to the web|
|Public Debt||52.265 Percent|
|Unemployment Rate||9.991 Percent|
|Labor Force (Occupation)||-|