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Finance Ministry estimates economic growth of 4.6% next year

The Finance Ministry on November 4 published a revised macro-economic prognosis for 2009, in which it lowered its original economic-growth estimate from 6.5 percent to 4.6 percent in the face of the economic crisis, the TASR newswire wrote.

The Finance Ministry on November 4 published a revised macro-economic prognosis for 2009, in which it lowered its original economic-growth estimate from 6.5 percent to 4.6 percent in the face of the economic crisis, the TASR newswire wrote.

Even though the 2009 budget that parliament took up last month is based on the original estimate, Prime Minister Robert Fico doesn't consider this to be a major problem, noting that Slovakia will still have the fastest-growing economy in the EU.

Fico told journalists at a conference called 'The Social Dimension of Europe' that the new prognosis doesn't make him nervous. He added that there were countries that faced much bigger problems at the moment, including the nationalisation of banks and massive financial injections by the state in the private sector. Slovakia, on the other hand, will lead economic growth in Europe, he said.

According to Fico, the government is committed to meeting its goals in the social sphere despite the economic slowdown. Possible cuts in budget expenditures will be directed at sectors that aren't connected to social policies and the investment environment. One of the budget goals is to lower the deficit. Fico said that the priority is to introduce savings in public finances first. Only then can increases in the deficit be considered. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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