When it comes to politics in Slovakia, due to fast-paced developments and the presence of social media, there is frequently a 'major' crisis lasting only a few days, to then be replaced by a new one, says Majernik & Mihalikova Partner Ivan Kormanik.
"One of the recurring issues is related to the proposed referendum on the shortening of parliamentary elections. Interestingly, even some members of the ruling party opt for organizing such a referendum," Kormanik explains. "In addition, the general prosecutor’s activities have been a source of controversy. His recent annulment of criminal charges for some well-known individuals, as well as his comments on a draft of the Defense Cooperation Agreement with the USA, which were clearly not related to his professional competencies, have been a subject of public debate. However, even though such topics receive public attention for some time, they are rarely addressed and easily forgotten."
"There is some success in the legislative field," he adds. "The parliament has approved an important reform of the hospital network, which is certainly positive news, given that the current state of the healthcare system in Slovakia severely lags behind the EU average. An amendment of the Act on Public Procurement was adopted, after a lengthy and onerous process. The B2C segment will be affected by the new Electronic Communications Act, regulating matters such as spam, cold calls, and biometric recognition." In addition, Kormanik points out that the EU Restructuring Directive governing preventive restructuring regarding the reorganization of enterprises will be presented to the parliament.
According to Kormanik, various factors have led to increased prices for electricity and energy in general. He points out that "the management of the Slovak Regulatory Office for Network Industries is rather competent and it actively works on the adoption of new regulations on renewable resources and providing subsidies for them. In addition, investors are looking for new opportunities to build new facilities, in particular with regard to solar and wind energy." Kormanik says all these have an effect on law firms focusing on energy law.
"Inflation in almost every area of the economy was reflected in the increased prices of real estate, as well," Kormanik notes. "Compared to last year, residential real estate prices have, reportedly, increased by 20 to 30%.” He points out that disagreement between the different branches of government regarding how to address COVID-19 challenges compounds the inflation-related situation even further.
"The good news for Slovakia is that we see Slovak companies, such as Slido or Exponea, that were established a couple of years ago, exited by their founders and sold to global corporations," Kormanik says. "The investment rounds have increased significantly when it comes to volume and valuation. The story of Inobat is impressive – a company developing battery solutions for cars, which shook hands with a number of large international players." He adds that "in general, the innovation economy is on the rise in Slovakia, attracting a lot of private investment, as well as subsidies from the government." Kormanik believes these new developments indicate that the county will see a number of successful projects and exits in the coming years.