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Finance Ministry: IMF positive about Slovak reforms

IN its latest country report on Slovakia released on January 11 the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said it appreciated Slovakia's reforms and measures taken, according to Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš.

"These [reforms] enable the achievement of high and sustainable economic growth," said Mikloš at a press conference.

According to the minister, the IMF also positively evaluated improved budgetary discipline, thanks to which last year's general government deficit should be several tenths of a percentage point lower than projected, the SITA news agency wrote.

The IMF appealed on Slovakia to use chiefly non-budgetary revenues to reduce the budget deficit.

In the report, the IMF pointed out that Slovakia's inflation targets for 2006 and 2007 are ambitious and achieving them is subject to some risk. The Slovak crown should have certain space for appreciation within the ERM II mechanism.

However, the IMF appealed to the authorities to prevent the crown firming so much as to harm the country’s competitiveness.

Slovakia aims to decrease the harmonized inflation rate to below 2.5 percent this year and below 2 percent in 2007.

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports
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