Following the division of Czechoslovakia, Slovakia
implemented some changes in the social care system. Health
care would remain the state's concern, while privatization
was intended to be implemented in certain sectors, such as
pharmacies and health resorts. Life, medical and pension
insurance funds were merged into a state insurance company,
whose final design is not yet finalized. In the country
there are 2.8 doctors and 7.1 hospital beds per thousand
residents. Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of SVK and acronym for Slovakia.
Ivan Gasparovic was elected president with 59.9% in the
second round of the presidential election in April 2004.
Opposition candidate Vladimír Meciar got 40.1%. Gasparovic
was posted to the post in June of that year. In March, the
country joined as a full member of NATO.
In May 2005, Parliament adopted by a large majority (116
votes against 27, 4 abstained) the EU Constitution. However,
the decision did not have any effect as the constitution was
voted down by referendums in France and the Netherlands.
In November, Slovakia, together with Poland, the Czech
Republic and Hungary, joined European currency cooperation.
The Slovakian krone was thus linked to the euro. This is the
first step before actually joining the Eurozone.
In April 2006, the Danube River crossed its banks,
causing serious damage to the central part of the country.
Over 8600 hectares of land was flooded and damages totaled
just over DKK 4 million.
In October 2006, the Alliance of Socialists in the
European Parliament made a historic decision as they
excluded their Slovak sister party from the Alliance. The
reason for the exclusion was that the socialists had formed
a government coalition with the ultra-right-wing Slovak
National Party, led by Jan Slota. Slota is strongly
anti-Hungarian and is responsible for the increase in the
number of attacks on the Hungarian minority in Slovakia.
President Gasparovic and Slovak Ambassador to Washington,
Rastislav Kaser, met in August 2007 to plan the President's
participation in the UN General Assembly in September.
Gasparovic subsequently met with Slovak immigrants in the
In March / April 2009, Gasparovic regained the
presidential post. In the second round, he gained 55.5% and
thus won over Christian Democrat Iveta Radičová.
In July 2009, Parliament passed a new language law imposing
fines for those who use minority languages in public
buildings. Hungary condemns the new law, which it says
discriminates against the country's Hungarian minority.