BREAKING NEWS

Euro adoption schedule in doubt

THE STATISTICS Office of the European Union has questioned the Slovak government's math on last year's general government deficit, the business weekly Trend's website reported.

The Slovak Statistics Office published that the public deficit was at 3.39 percent of the GDP last year. But that figure should go up by 0.7 percentage points, Eurostat said. The difference was caused by incorrect accounting for budget figures for the public service media, the National Highway Company and other public finance items.

Once the data is corrected, it could result in Slovakia missing one of the Maastricht criteria targets for euro adoption.

Slovakia planned a public deficit of 2.94 percent of the GDP this year, using its current methodology. That would put the deficit just below the Maastricht threshold of three percent of its GDP. If Slovakia is forced to correct its deficit figure, it might not adopt the euro by January 1, 2009.

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