Ratings agency Fitch has decided not to follow the lead of Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, which last year moved Slovakia to investment grade; Fitch cited concern over Slovakia’s record current account deficit, the forced departure of Finance Minister Brigita Schmognerová, and the recent determination of the ruling coalition SDĽ party to halt the privatisation of gas utility SPP. The agency also cited September 2002 elections as a risk, noting the possible return to power of three-time prime minister Vladimír Mečiar, whose authoritarian behaviour in the 1990s saw Slovakia dropped from both Nato and European Union front-runners. Fitch thus kept Slovakia at speculative grade with a positive outlook.
Compiled by Tom Nicholson from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
5. Feb 2002 at 9:29