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IN SHORT

Slovak minister criticizes Eurostat

SLOVAK Labour Minister Iveta Radičová articulated serious reservations regarding Eurostat methodology in measuring poverty risks. The minister criticized Eurostat methods at a recent informal meeting of labour and social affairs ministers of EU and associated countries in Villach, Austria.

According to the minister, the Eurostat report does not objectively take into consideration results and trends achieved through economic and social reforms.

The minister complained that the report creates the impression that reforms towards flexibility, motivation and activity are unsuccessful.

The Eurostat report claims that 21 percent of the Slovak population is exposed to poverty. The Slovak minister suspects that household income data from 2002 was used to draw this conclusion.

Radičová thinks the report raises doubts both home and abroad that structural reforms are not bringing any results. She therefore called on colleagues and representatives of the European Parliament and European Commission to consider the negative impacts of such reports on individual countries' efforts to prepare and push for necessary reforms.

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