IN SHORT

Slovak purchasing power lowest in EU

THE PURCHASING power of Slovaks is among the lowest in the EU, reaching only 51 percent of the EU's 25-country average, the European statistics office Eurostat reported on August 23.

Poland and the three Baltic countries faired worse than Slovakia in 2003, the state-run news agency TASR wrote.

The best results belonged to Luxembourg whose purchasing power towers at 208 percent of the EU average and Ireland with 131 percent.

Austria, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Great Britain reached between 101 and 125 percent.

The purchasing power in the third group, comprising Cyprus, Greece, Spain, and Slovenia, was between 76 and 100 percent.

The fourth group, ranking between 51 and 75 percent, includes the Czech Republic with 69 percent, Hungary with 61 percent, Malta with 73 percent, Portugal with 75 percent, and Slovakia at 51 percent.

Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia were under 50 percent.

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