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Slovakia Economy

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia — An investigative journalist shot dead in Slovakia last week was working on a story about the activities of the Italian mafia in his country and their links to people close to Prime Minister Robert Fico.

Jan Kuciak's news website published his last, unfinished story Wednesday. It describes the activities of members of the Italian 'Ndrangheta criminal group in eastern Slovakia, and the business ties of one of them with a senior assistant to Fico and another official close to him.

Slovakia's economy increasingly resembles that of a so-called developed country. With the highest sustained GDP growth in the European Union, reporting 10.4% in 2007 and the highest rating from V4 countries, the Slovak economy has been considered a tiger economy known as the Tatra Tiger. Slovakia has been an EU member state since 2004 and adopted the euro currency at the beginning of 2009. Its capital, Bratislava, is the largest financial centre in Slovakia. Unemployment has fallen considerably, although long-term unemployment remains high. In the long term, improving education outcomes, including by reducing the impact of socioeconomic background on outcomes, will be central to sustaining high economic growth and social cohesion. GDP per capita at purchasing power parity was €18,100 in 2010, which was 74% of the EU averagehttp://epp. eurostat. ec. europa. eu/cache/ITY_PUBLIC/2-21062011-AP/EN/2-21062011-AP-EN. PDF.

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