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IN SHORT

Finance Ministry: IMF bullish on Slovak reforms

IN ITS LATEST country report on Slovakia released on January 11, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) praised Slovakia's reforms, 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 lauded Slovakia's improved budget 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.

In the report, the IMF pointed out that Slovakia's inflation targets for 2006 and 2007 are ambitious. The Slovak crown should have a certain amount of room for appreciation within the ERM II mechanism, but the IMF appealed to authorities to prevent the crown from becoming so strong that it hurts the country's competitiveness.

Slovakia plans to reduce inflation to below 2.5 percent this year and below 2 percent in 2007.

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