Slovak GDP is accelerating still further edging towards 5% growth next year from 3.4% currently


The February revision of the 2011 growth forecast to 3.4 percent from an originally projected 3.3 percent will boost tax revenue by 9 million euros ($12.3 million), representing less than 0.1 percent of gross domestic product, the ministry said today in a statement from Bratislava, Slovakia.
Tax revenue next year is set to exceed the original projection by 36 million euros, while in 2013 the government will probably collect 85 million euros less than planned, the ministry said. The 2012 and 2013 growth forecast was revised to 4.8 percent for each year, from 4.5 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively.

UK outside the euro, has it been a good move?


While the euro economies have been lashed to the mast of a single monetary policy, Britain’s free-floating currency and flexible interest rates have allowed it to weather the global storms.

At least that is the  conventional wisdom in the UK. Sadly, the save-the-pound brigade hit something of a snag. The economic indicators tell a rather different story. Since the financial crash, Germany and France have fared better in the single currency than has Britain outside.

The two big eurozone countries have suffered a smaller drop in output since the hurricane hit in 2007. Britain has ended up with a fiscal deficit three times that of Germany and 50 per cent above that of France. As for prices, it is the Bank that has lost the plot. Britain’s 2 per cent inflation target has been all but abandoned. Prices in Britain are rising twice as fast as in the eurozone.

Ah, but wait, I hear Messrs Balls, Osborne and King riposte in unison. Britain has at least been free to devalue sterling. The value of the pound has dropped a hefty 20 per cent during the past few years. That would be impossible were Britain trapped in the euro straitjacket.

Perhaps I am alone in thinking it odd that a central bank should be so eager to debauch its own currency. The politicians, I can understand. Like Harold Wilson in 1967 they forever cling to the deceit that sterling’s depreciation has no effect on the pounds in voters’ pockets. Besides the now cheap pound that has lost much of its value has not led to a rebalancing towards manufacturing in any meaningful way,

Devaluation has been an addiction of the politicians and professional policymakers in charge of Britain’s boom-and-bust economy for the past 60-odd years. Back in, say, 1960, one pound would buy about 12 Deutschmarks. If Germany had kept its currency, today’s figure would be about two D-Marks. Funny how German exporters still so easily outsell the British.

One or two countries in the eurozone have indeed fared worse than Britain since 2007. Ireland and Greece are the notable examples. But this raises another problem. Have Mr Balls and Mr Osborne so lowered their ambitions for Britain as to see Europe’s two smallest economies as the most useful comparator?
The uncomfortable reality is that eurozone countries against which Britain more naturally measures its performance have suffered less as a consequence of the crash. If one goes back further – say, to the creation of the euro in 1999 – the growth performance of the three economies has been pretty much of a muchness.

In truth, the real lesson from all this is a more prosaic one. Those charged with steering the economy should show a touch of humility. The thread linking the multiple mistakes in British economic policymaking in recent decades has been the righteous certainty of those making the wrong decisions.

It is visible again now at the Treasury and Bank as the senior officials so complicit in Mr Brown’s boom tell Mr Osborne the only course is the ferocious fiscal squeeze on which he has now embarked. They may, of course, be right this time. But the record hardly leaves one brimming with confidence.

Deutsche Telekom AG chooses Bratislava as its global financial centre


Deutsche Telekom AG chose Slovakia as the location for its global financial-services center, Hospodarske Noviny reported, without saying where it got the information.
The German phone company picked Slovakia over Hungary because it uses the euro and its capital Bratislava is closer to Vienna, Hospodarske said. The investment may create as many as 500 jobs, the newspaper reported.


The investment will be a global centre for financial services, and should hire its first recruits as soon as this year, Hospod├írske Noviny reported. “Slovakia is an apt country for business for us; thus we will always try to evaluate new opportunities for enterprise. We will implement them on condition that all due conditions are fulfilled,” Sylvie Braunle of Deutsche Telekom told the daily.
According to an unconfirmed report by the SITA newswire, the investment was decided upon in November 2010 and both sides were only waiting only for a convenient date to announce it.

Angela Merkel, Germnay's chancellor is coming to Bratislava

Iveta Radicova, Prime Minister of Slovakia meets Angela Merkel in Bratislava, Slovak Republic

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia - German Chancellor Angela Merkel is travelling to the Slovak capital to meet her counterparts from Central and Eastern Europe in talks expected to focus on energy security and regional co-operation.

The future of the eurozone and other EU-related issues are also high on the agenda of the annual meeting of prime ministers of Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland whose countries form an informal grouping known as the V4.

Merkel, together with Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann and Ukraine's Prime Minister Mykola Azarov are scheduled to join Tuesday's meeting that marks the 20th anniversary of the group.

Volkswagen announces it will double its investments in Slovakia to a billion euros (1.36 billion dollars) in the next five years


Volkswagen’s Slovak unit has reported that the VW mother company plans to give it €1 billion over the next few years to boost car and car parts production in Slovakia.

"In the coming five years, the company will double its investment compared to the past five years," Andreas Tostmann, head of VW Slovakia, said in a press release.

He added that Volkswagen would "focus on new technologies, boost production at its car plant in Bratislava and components plant in Martin," northern Slovakia.

Volkswagen said earlier it expected to launch production of its new small family car line at its Bratislava plant this year.

The company's output in Slovakia fell in 2009 due to lower demand for expensive SUV models produced here amid the global economic slump.

But as the economy recovered in 2010, Volkswagen increased output over the first six months by 43 percent compared to the previous year.

The company has already invested more than €1.7 billion in the Euro zone countries over the last few years, according to Reuters.

The Slovak plant, which is situated near Bratislava, produces SUV models including the Volkswagen Touareg, Audi Q7, and parts of the Porsche Cayenne.

Volkswagen Slovakia, which began production in 1991, exports nearly all its output, mostly to Germany and China.