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EC to Slovakia: Cut deficit faster

THE EUROPEAN Commission (EC) suggested that Slovakia cut its budget deficit faster than planned provided that economic development allows it, the TASR news agency reported.

The suggestion comes in the EC’s report on Slovakia's new convergence programme for 2004-2007 published February 2.

The report says Slovakia should make use of any possible budgetary savings in expenditures and better-than-planned revenues.

In line with the programme, Slovakia plans to cut the deficit to the required 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2007.

This is in line with the suggestion made by the finance ministers of EU member states in July 2004.

However, the programme could be more ambitious - especially in 2005 - in terms of the anticipated higher revenues and considering that Slovakia's macroeconomic outlook is favourable, the EC report states.

The EC thinks that Slovakia's projected economic growth figure, around 5 percent of GDP, is achievable.

However, a decrease in inflation to 2.5 percent by 2007 will only be possible if the secondary effects of high headline inflation in 2004 are contained.

According to the programme, Slovakia's public debt will go up from 43 percent in 2004 to 45.5 percent in 2007.

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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