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ECONOMIC BRIEFS

Finance Minister receives IMF mission

Finance Minister Brigita Schmögnerová received a mission of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) led by Emmanuel Zervoudakis on November 20. The IMF has been visiting Slovakia since November 11, and Zervoudak acquainted Schmögnerová with the IMF's misgivings regarding the 1998 state budget and the provisional budget for the first quarter of 1999.

The 1999 state budget deficit, said Zervoudak, will reflect Slovakia's increased costs of debt servicing as well as zero revenues from the import surcharge that was cancelled on October 1.

The mission representatives also stressed the need to cut in half the country's current account deficit of 10 - 11%, saying that this would send positive signals abroad and would help Slovakia obtain favourable conditions for foreign loans to refinance the current account deficit.

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