ECONOMIC BRIEFS

EIB official urges politicians to bury the hatchet

From comments made by the vice-president of the European Investment Bank (EIB), W. Roth, at the financial fair Finex '96:

"The opinion that foreign capital inflow means selling out one's own country is obsolete. Slovakia needs, in a relatively short period of time, to increase its productivity. With regard to a deficiency in its own resources, the government must in the coming 2-3 years secure the foreign investments necessary for restructuring the economy. Neighboring countries - the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland - have attracted significantly more foreign investments than Slovakia."

"Slovakia' s attractiveness is being diminished by the continual controversies between the ruling party and its opposition. While there are virtually no consequential political differences between the two sides, they continue to struggle brutally, while it is not at all clear to everyone else what they're fighting about. Since 1994, the Slovak economy has been improving at a pace better than some international financial institutions predicted, and even the IMF has been mistaken in its forecasts. The main reason for this success is that Slovakia has had to rely on its own power. The Central Bank's anti-inflationary policies have pushed down the inflation rate to recurrent levels of 6 percent , significantly improving Slovakia's credibility on international financial markets."

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