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Budget performance better than planned

SLOVAKIA's state budget is expected to show a deficit of Sk33.9 billion (€895 million) for the whole of 2005, some Sk27.6 billion less than originally projected.

According to Finance Ministry spokesman Peter Papanek, 2005 state budget revenues were projected at Sk257.2 billion, but are now expected to come in at Sk258.7 billion, the TASR news agency wrote.

Expenditures should amount to Sk292.6 billion for the whole of 2005, which is Sk26.2 billion less than projected.

The positive development of the Slovak economy was cited as the main reason for the better-than-expected budget figures.

"Rapid economic growth, which reached 6.2 percent in the third quarter of 2005, had a positive effect on state budget revenues and expenditures," said Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš.

Slovakia's 2005 tax revenues were up by Sk20.6 billion from the year before.

"Thanks to continuing low interest rates and the good performance of the state treasury system, the government saved Sk6.6 billion on national debt costs. Thanks to higher employment, the government also saved on social spending," Mikloš said.

The Finance Ministry will publish the complete public finance results for 2005 according to the EU's ESA 95 methodology at the beginning of April 2006.

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports
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