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Bratislava charts course for recovery with its 2021 budget

Bratislava charts course for recovery with its 2021 budget

Alongside the vote for the budget, the Slovak capital also issued a ban on gambling in the city

At its last session for 2020, the Bratislava City Council approved two major pieces of legislation – the capital’s budget for 2021-2023 and a total ban on gambling that will come into effect within the next couple of years. Local officials also approved a set of measures for the summer that are meant to help businesses get back on their feet in the aftermath of lockdown forced onto them due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Thinking ahead

The main ambition of the budget for 2021-2023 is, despite the deteriorating macroeconomic situation, to make progress in the city's projects, especially in the areas of transport and public infrastructure, public spaces and the environment, better maintenance of the city or social justice.

The deputies set aside EUR 33 million for the transport infrastructure, which is intended for the start of construction of the extension of the tram line in Petržalka, project documentation for the modernization of the Ružinovská and Vajnorská radiála tram lines and the Patrónka-Riviera trolleybus line. Another 39 million will be absorbed by the construction and repair of road or pedestrian infrastructure.

In the area of ​​the environment, the budget envisages the planting of trees, the preparation of the construction of facilities for the recovery of biowaste, the construction of new parks in Karlova Ves, Žilinská, work on the Družba fountain on Námestí slobody, the Partizánská lúka project or Comenius Square.

The coronavirus pandemic during 2020 caused direct and indirect losses in the revenues of the city and its organizations in the amount of more than 25 million euros. Therefore, it will probably be necessary to temporarily increase the city's debt above 50% in 2021.

City Councilors also approved a ban on gambling in the city that will come into effect around 2023-2024 as casino and gambling licenses will no longer be renewed by officials and new ones will no longer be issued by government offices. With this regulation, the capital granted the petition of the Stop Gambling Initiative for a ban on gambling in the city. The petition contained more than 70,000 valid signatures of Bratislava residents.

Finally, Bratislava’s local authorities have agreed to extend its policy from 2019 to waive taxes on the use of municipal property by restaurant terraces in order to allow them to quickly get back on their feet during the summer months, despite the probable scenario of continuing difficulties due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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