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BUDGET BRIEFS

25 billion Sk in state-backed loans mature in 2000

According to analysts, one of the greatest threats to the 2000 state budget is the 25.4 billion crowns in state-guaranteed loans that are set to mature next year. The cabinet has allocated only 10 billion crowns to cover these loans in the draft state budget.

Next year's total is the highest volume of guaranteed loans to mature since 1990. In 1999, loans totalling 9.6 billion crowns became payable.

Since 1990, successive Slovak governments have issued state guarantees for 138.5 billion crowns in loans taken by state-owned firms; in 1999 alone, 29.2 billion crowns in loan guarantees have been issued.

In 1999, the Slovak government provided state guarantees for 11.2 billion crowns in loans taken by the State Road Fund from KfW and Credit Suisse First Boston, and for nearly 13 billion crowns in loans taken by Slovak Rail (ŽSR) from IPB, the European Investment Bank and Depfa. It also guaranteed 2.3 billion crowns in loans for the Vodohospodárska Výstavba construction company and 2.5 billion crowns for Slovak power producer Slovenské Elektrárne.

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