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Early euro adoption requires rule revision

THE SLOVAK finance minister wants the EU to revise its rules so that Slovakia can adopt the euro in 2008, at least a year sooner than previously anticipated.

In a letter sent to European Commissioner Joaquín Almunio, Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš requested that the EU eliminate pension reform costs from Slovakia’s public finance deficit when assessing the country’s euro preparedness, according to Slovak daily Pravda.

By law, debt incurred as a result of changing Slovakia’s pay-as-you-go pension system into a capitalisation one must be recorded against the public finance deficit. But the government says the cost of transforming the pension system is too complicated to estimate.

Pension reform alone is expected to cost one percent of Slovakia’s gross domestic product (GDP). In order to adopt the euro, the country must fulfil Maastricht criteria, which requires an overall public finance deficit to fall below three percent of GDP.

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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