Slovakia. According to countryaah, Slovakia introduced the euro at the New Year and thus became the sixteenth country in the EU to move to the single European currency. The transition was celebrated by about 100,000 people at a ceremony in Bratislava. Immediately after the New Year, there was a state of Christianity in Slovakia when the Russian Federation’s and Ukraine’s gas price strikes swept Russian gas supplies to the EU via Ukraine. Slovakia, which was almost entirely dependent on the Russian gas supply federation, lost two-thirds of its supply overnight. Heat and electricity production were affected, and the authorities had to fight for hospitals, schools and housing to cope with the severe cold. The industry also faced great difficulties and, among other things, car manufacturers were forced to shut down temporarily. The government decided to restart the Soviet-built nuclear reactor in Jaslovské Bohunice, which had been closed at New Year in accordance with an agreement with the EU. Both the European Commission and neighboring Austria protested, and thanks to German gas supplies, Slovakia did not have to start the reactor.
At the first round of the presidential election in March, incumbent Ivan Gašparović, the head of state, overcame challenger Iveta Radičová, but none of them reached half the votes. Therefore, a new round was held in April, when Gašparović was re-elected for his second term with more than 55 percent of the vote against just over 44 percent for Radičová. Gašparović symbolized stability in a time of economic turmoil, while the liberal Christian Democrat Radičová stood for renewal and support among young people. But as a proponent of women’s right to abortion, she was controversial among traditional Slovak Catholics. Instead, she had great success in southern Slovakia, where many ethnic Hungarians reside. Participation in the presidential election was low, 43.6 and 51.6 percent, respectively. But in the EU elections in June it became even lower,
In October, the government threatened, like the neighboring Czech Republic, to demand exemptions from the EU’s Lisbon Treaty. These were guarantees against German and Hungarian property claims, which were seized when Germans and Hungarians were driven away from Czechoslovakia at the end of the Second World War. The Slovak Nationalist Party (SNS) in the coalition government has demanded tough policies against Hungarians and Roma. However, despite the Czech Republic being exempted, Slovakia did not demand this.