NEWS IN SHORT

Cabinet package to tackle crisis effects

BUILDING roads, new power plants and supporting small and medium-sized companies should help Slovakia overcome the effect of the global financial crisis. That was the conclusion of Slovak cabinet meeting on November 6 which adopted a package of measures intended to mitigate the impact of the crisis on the country, the ČTK newswire wrote.

BUILDING roads, new power plants and supporting small and medium-sized companies should help Slovakia overcome the effect of the global financial crisis. That was the conclusion of Slovak cabinet meeting on November 6 which adopted a package of measures intended to mitigate the impact of the crisis on the country, the ČTK newswire wrote.

In Slovakia, the crisis might lead to slower economic growth, dampen wage rises and increase unemployment. But the country’s economy could still remain one of the top performers in the European Union.

“I’m convinced that this proposal of measures… will really mean that Slovakia has a huge chance, also because we are going to switch to the euro, to minimise the risks from the impacts of the crisis,” Prime Minister Robert Fico told journalists after the cabinet approved the package.

The cabinet adopted the measures with the condition that the measures would not be adopted at the expense of previously approved social programmes. During the last few years export-oriented companies, in particular in the automotive and electrical engineering sectors, have led the Slovak economy. Lower demand from abroad for their products might now hit the economy.

The cabinet hopes that new construction plans for highways and power plants will bridge the gap. These would be carried out via PPP projects, or be financed directly by the state budget.
Other measures include possible cuts in general government expenditure or improving the availability of loans to small and medium-sized companies.

The cabinet also wants to persuade suppliers of electricity, gas and heat to offer their products at reasonable prices, the SITA newswire wrote. The Fico government wants neither to raise nor cut taxes and social insurance contributions, or privatise strategic businesses.

The proposed measures will be evaluated on a monthly basis and modified in compliance with market needs.

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