Finance Ministry sets its goals

SLOVAKIA aims to cut unemployment to 12 percent by 2010 according to the Finance Ministry's Convergence Programme of Slovakia for 2004 -2010, which assesses the state's development after EU entry.

By 2010, sustainable economic growth should be achieved and public finances should be in balance or at a slight surplus.

The state-run news agency TASR reported that by 2006 the nation's public finance deficit should drop to 3 percent of GDP - not including expenses for the second pillar of the pension system. In 2003, Slovakia's deficit of public finances was 3.6 percent. According to the Finance Ministry, Slovakia could enter the eurozone in 2008 or 2009.

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