Slovakian president makes state visit to capital

news: Slovakian president makes state visit to capital

SLOVAKIAN PRESIDENT Ivan Gasparovic was in Lisbon recently to hold talks on a range of issues with President Jorge Sampaio, Prime Minister José Sócrates and Lisbon Mayor Carmona Rodrigues.

Relations between the two Catholic countries have been close since 1999 and further strengthened in 2000, when Portugal headed the EU presidency and gave invaluable advice and assistance to Slovakia in its bid to join the union, which it did on May 1, 2004.

Slovakia has continued its rapid transition from a communist, centrally planned economy to a modern market economy under the Dzurinda government between 2001 and 2004. The country has seen macroeconomic stabilisation and massive structural reform, with wholesale privatisation and its banking sector in foreign hands.