Bratislava – capital city of Slovakia versus other regions of Slovak Republic

West versus East, East versus West, Bratislava versus Slovakia, Slovakia versus Bratislava. I am not talking about sports rivalry, but unfortunately about the whole society rivalry. Rivalry between the capital city – Bratislava lying in the most western part of Slovakia and the rest of the country. We hear this question from everywhere in Slovakia – argues about who lives from whom money.

Bratislava is capital city of Slovak republic and there are some huge differences between it and other regions of country, differences regarding quality of life, GDP, unemployment rates, wages and many more.

For administrative division, Slovakia is subdivided into 8 regions (kraje) since 1996:

sr-kraje-590

5 obyvatelia

Despite the efforts of governments, Slovakia is still unable to remove the significant regional differences. Development is concentrated mainly in and around its capital Bratislava, respectively around major cities and their hinterlands. More about economic and labour indicators after jump. Continue reading

Unemployment in Slovakia dropped to an all-time low

Slovakiais struggling with its unemployment for many years and is taking a lot of money from the state budget. It is caused due to a very high birth rate of the Slovak Roma population. It is obvious mainly in the reagion of east of Slovakia, which is a very poor region, where the Romas are centered. Also Slovakia is a country of medium and small enterprises mostly. This would not be considered as a problem if the legislation and business environment in the country were more flexible and started to apply the concept of flexicurity, to adapt more to the current labour market. Even though, implementing active labour market policy measures, one of the flexicurity factors, within the framework of the national action plan for employment (NAP) has contributed to the gradual decrease in unemployment levels. The report you can read here.

We have now lot of young people studying in Universities, so there is no worry about skilled labour force. The problem is with the low number of free positions in companies, whether public or private one’s.Continuing, the transition from school to work is not completly solved still. They say that to make this better, the students will be studying for those “empty” job position that need to be filled later. But to read more about this, take a look at this article.

Slovakia will join euro

Maybe this article is more about politics, but i want to post it here as in Slovakia everything is revolving about adopting euro in 2009. There are lot of discussions about it and the public opinions differ widely. But the point is that European leaders made their historic decision and Slovakia has been given the green light to become the 16th EU member of the eurozone. This will be another historic landmark in our history after joining the European Union in 2004 and entering the Schengen zone in 2007. Slovakia is now the first of the Visegrad Four countries to pass this last important step on the way to full EU membership. Prime Minister Robert Fico stressed that he sees the EC’s approval as an expression of trust in his government. However, European Commision warns against future risks. The final decision on Slovakia’s adoption of the euro will be made in July. Slovakia needs to keep inflation under control and maintain its competitiveness. The EC recommends a stricter fiscal policy as a remedy to inflation risks. The threat of increased inflation is also due to energy prices, as recent global energy-price increases haven’t yet been reflected fully in consumer prices. Brussels has also drawn attention to Slovakia’s 10-percent unemployment rate – the highest in the EU, with as many as 76 percent of those without jobs being long-term unemployed, unqualified, and thus ill-equipped to find work. The commissioner encouraged other EU member countries on the road to the joint currency to pursue and intensify their efforts as “it is clearly in their long term interest.” The convergence report also assessed the progress that Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Sweden have made towards the euro.

 I wonder in what extent the euro will influence the standard of life of the people in aour country. Maybe you could write what kind of experience you had with adopting euro (if it was not  long time ago and you still can remember those times when you paid with another currecy than euro…) or if your country still does not use euro, are the people ther willing to change the old currency for euro…?

Roma population as another aspect of the Slovak economy

Slovakia belongs among countries with the highest share of the Roma population in Europe.
The Roma are not living in an integrated territory but are rather scattered within the entire territory of Slovakia. However, there are big differences in their number and concentration in particular regions of the Slovak Republic.
The oldest information on the number of Roma in Slovakia originating from the census as of the end of 18th century speaks about 20 thousand Roma. At the 1991 census the inhabitants of Slovakia had a possibility for the first time after 60 years to declare the Roma nationality. Only less than 76 thousand people used this possibility. The reasons why Roma do not declare the Roma nationality are several– from the insufficiently developed ethnic awareness which often appears as an effort to dissociate from the Roma ethnic group, up to the fear from the persecution and discrimination.
Presently, there are 380 000 Romas living in the territory of Slovakia and The Projection of Roma Population in Slovakia until 2025 was made.

Mainly the geographic location of the Slovak Republic being the centre of Europe and the historical development linked to significant mobility of population are signed under the heterogeneous ethnic composition of population.

In order to extend and speed up the social inclusion of the Roma population including improvement of their social status The National Action Plan of the Slovak Republic Regarding the Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005 – 2015 was adopted. It focuses on four priority areas: education, employment, health, housing and on three related themes: poverty, discrimination and gender equality. The last pages of this document show also the budget for each area discussed.

Labor Force Leaving Eastern Europe

I know that we already have some posts about migration in Europe, but I have found another interesting article about the labour force from Eastern Europe leaving the home countries and going to work abroad…Everybody is talking about how the economic situation and living conditions are improving and also new jobs are being created, salaries are rising but in spite of this there are still many people looking for better opporunities in western Europe. In the wake of the departures of the workers are huge labor shortages. For example Slovakia has created an excellent environment for car manufacturing and capacity has increased, but now automobile companies such as Volkswagen and Kia Motors have been unable to find enough skilled workers to assemble the vehicles. Poland and the Baltic states have been unable to meet housing demands due to too few workers. Things are so bad in Poland that President Lech Kaczynski has complained of being unable to find someone to paint his house because all the painters have moved away. After the entry to EU there are not so many restrictions for immigrants from central and eastern Europe to join the labour market in UK or Scandinavian countries. Now the governments are trying to do some measures to fill the gaps, but are stil reluctant to increase wages because it may degrade their attractiveness to foreign investments. Here is the article.