6/30/2008

Bashing business

Slovakia's strong economy may be hurt by anti-business policies

Slovakia continues to enjoy stellar economic growth, but local businesses are increasingly unhappy at the anti-enterprise policies of Prime Minister Robert Fico's populist administration. It has sought to unravel its predecessor's lauded health and pension reforms, and to put more restrictions on retailers. In an effort to cap inflation, it has leaned on utility companies to cap prices and is now considering legislation that would make "unjustified" price increases a criminal offence. It is an open question how long Slovakia's government can continue in this vein without damaging the economy.

The Slovak Business Alliance (PAS) announced on June 26th that the business environment had deteriorated over the two years that Mr Fico has been prime minister, pointing to a 6.5-point decline in its business environment index to 120. The PAS poll surveyed nearly 200 companies. ...



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