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Public finance deficit a pleasant surprise

SLOVAKIA's public finance deficit in 2004 was lower than planned for in the 2004 state budget. The deficit was 3.3 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), rather than the planned 3.9 percent, the daily SME wrote.

According to Slovakia's Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš the difference was caused by lower than planned state budget expenditures.

ING bank analyst Ján Tóth described the budget result as a pleasant surprise.

In terms of decreasing its public finance deficit Slovakia is the most successful state of all new EU members.

The required level of 3.0 percent of GDP, which the country must meet as one of the criteria for adopting the euro, should be achieved in 2007.

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports
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