Courting Volkswagen, it looks like the car sector in Slovakia will benefit from further german investment

"Bratislava is home to one of Volkswagen's factories, which stands out for its high quality. For this reason as well as on the grounds of good conditions for futher investments, Slovakia is considering pushing for the manufacture of a new Volkswagen in Bratislava," said Fico, who will further discuss the issue with Volkwagen managers later in the day.

Fico during his one-day visit to Germany noted that the Government granted investment stimuli for this purpose last year. "We have a high-quality, not-too-expensive labour force, a favourable business environment. We've adopted the euro virtually problem-free, and unlike other countries we have a very stable political situation," said Fico, listing the further advantages of doing business in Slovakia.

The two also talked about measures to be taken to counter the effects of the global economic crisis. They saw eye-to-eye in that they favour joint European action, repudiate any expression of protectionism and stress that prior to adopting fresh measures it is necessary to evaluate the effects of previous ones.

"I welcome the words of Slovak Premier Robert Fico, who spoke out against dumping, protectionism and the race for subsidies. We have to find a common Europe-wide language here," stressed Wulf.

"Either we act within the EU based on solidarity and survive, or everyone acts on his own account and all of us will lose," weighed in Fico.

The Government approved the investment state aid by way of personal income-tax relief worth €14.3 million in December. The carmaker should spend this on expanding its production range by a new model to be made at its factory in Devinska Nova Ves near Bratislava. The investment would be spread over a period of three years and would create 760 new jobs.

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