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Slovakian report Slovakian report
by Euro Reporter
2012-04-02 07:51:53
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Slovakia marks 70th anniversary of Auschwitz transport

Slovakia sent a train from its Poprad station to Auschwitz to commemorate the first transport of Slovak Jews, in 1942. Edita Grosmanova, a Slovak-Jewish concentration camp survivor, and outgoing Prime Minister Iveta Radicova were among the passengers on last Friday's train ride to Oswiecim, Poland, according to Slovak news reports. Some 1,000 Slovak Jewish women were sent to Auschwitz on March 25, 1942.

Grosmanova is the widow of the author Ladislav Grosman, whose book "The Shop on Main Street" was turned into an Academy Award-winning film in 1965 for best foreign-language film. “If I were talking for 24 hours, it would not be even a percentage of the things that I have experienced," the Slovak paper SME quoted Grossmanova as saying, adding that "I ask all [people], especially the young ones, to talk, talk, talk.”

Approximately 70,000 Slovak Jews were deported to concentration camps during the war by the Slovak state, as the country’s wartime government is referred to typically. “On March 25 [in 1942] at this station [Poprad], the Holocaust started here,” said Pavol Mestan, director of the Slovak-Jewish Museum. Slovak cultural organizations and the country’s Evangelical and Roman Catholic churches also offered condemnations and apologies.


Slovak Piano users earn more, are better educated

A new socio-economic demographic study of Slovakia's Piano users finds that Piano's subscribers are more highly educated and earn higher salaries than the average Slovak Internet user. Piano users are more likely to live in larger cities with more than a third of them living in Slovakia's two biggest cities, Bratislava and Kosice. Finally, most of Piano's readers are between 25-44 years old, the demographic with highest income and standard of living. The study was conducted by Gemius SA in December 2011. They interviewed 28,000 Slovak internet users of whom 383 were Piano subscribers. Gemius is the largest online research agency in central and Eastern Europe and is dedicated to Internet market research focusing on credibility, quality and accuracy.

Compared with the average Slovak internet users, Piano's readers have a better education. More than 40% of Piano's users have a university degree or higher. More than 80% of them have finished high-school. This compares favourably with approximately 16% of typical Slovak Internet users who have university degrees or higher and 57% who have graduated high-school. Piano readers live in bigger metropolitan areas than their average Slovak internet user counterpart. More than 64% of Piano readers live in major Slovak cities, those with populations greater than 20,000, while a little more than 44% of typical Slovak Internet users live in such municipalities. Piano's users also are middle-aged and at the peak of their earning power when compared with the average Slovak internet user although, Piano also reaches an older demographic effectively as well. They are between 25-44 years of age, with slightly more than 50% falling into this category. This is better than the 46% of typical Slovak Internet users in this age group. Interestingly, older people are also Piano users. More than 17% of Piano users are older than 55, while only 10% of normal Internet users are among this group.

Finally, Piano users hold better jobs and earn a higher income than the average user of the Slovak internet does. Fully 37% of Piano users fall into the A category of the ABCDE population classification, defined as those who have the highest standard of living, earn the highest income and hold the most prestigious jobs. This is a very attractive demographic for both Slovak publishers and advertisers. From the survey it is clear that Piano users are better educated, have better jobs and earn more money than the average Slovak Internet user. Piano's subscribers live in more urban areas, have more disposable income and are thus a more desirable target audience for advertisers and publishers whose demographics Piano directly serves.


Moody's lowers outlook on Slovakia banks to negative

Moody's Investors Service lowered its outlook on Slovakia's banking system to negative from stable, saying the European Union's economic downturn will pressure asset quality and profits in the sector. Moody's expects Slovakia's gross domestic product growth to decelerate to about 1.7% in 2012, from 3.1% in 2011 and 4% in 2010, with further downside risks as continued uncertainty is expected to hinder business and consumer confidence in the country and the broader euro area.

The ratings firm said Slovakia's economic performance largely depends on external demand, especially from the country's main trading partners, Germany and the Czech Republic. Slovakia's dependence on export-oriented industries presents a key credit risk to the banks' performance, because softening demand for these industries' production will lead to higher unemployment levels and non-performing loans.

Despite these negative factors, Slovakian banks' capitalization has strengthened in recent years as a result of profit retention, Moody's said. The system is now facing new risks, as many local banks are owned by Western European banks that are currently under pressure to repatriate capital or potentially to sell weaker subsidiaries. But the ratings firm said it recognized that the National Bank of Slovakia introduced stricter capital rules to protect capital buffers of local banks that will partially mitigate these risks.

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