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Economists: Smer-SNS-HZDS government the worst option

THE WORST possible option for the Slovak economy would be a government consisting of the socialist Smer, the far-right SNS and the controversial HZDS, say economic analysts.

Such a government would endanger the adoption of the single EU currency as scheduled in January 2009, and would also damage Slovakia's image among foreign investors and inflate the state budget deficit, the Pravda daily wrote.

"A cabinet [formed] from the current opposition would also mean a stop to privatization. It would probably maintain state or unclear public ownership. Inefficiency, waste, and asset stripping at these companies would continue," said Ján Tóth, the chief economist of the ING bank.

The markets are reacting very sensitively to every political statement. After Smer leader Robert Fico yesterday admitted the possibility of delaying euro adoption in Slovakia should it prove disadvantageous, and announced that he would meet the SNS and HZDS first in official talks to form the government, the Slovak crown plummeted to a seven-month low of 38.25 SKK/EUR.

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