Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Prime Minister says a 4-5% budget deficit would be acceptable to EU

A public finance budget deficit of 4-5 percent of GDP would be acceptable to the EU as a temporary exception to the rules of the Maastricht Stability and Growth Pact during the current crisis, Prime Minister Robert Fico said on state-owned Slovak Radio's (SRo) politics show ‘Sobotné Dialógy’ (Saturday Dialogues), adding that Slovakia's public finances should remain within this limit this year, reported the TASR newswire.

A public finance budget deficit of 4-5 percent of GDP would be acceptable to the EU as a temporary exception to the rules of the Maastricht Stability and Growth Pact during the current crisis, Prime Minister Robert Fico said on state-owned Slovak Radio's (SRo) politics show ‘Sobotné Dialógy’ (Saturday Dialogues), adding that Slovakia's public finances should remain within this limit this year, reported the TASR newswire.

“This is a threshold that would be respected in Europe and that wouldn't be regarded as one that would qualify the country for action over an excessive deficit. I'm only concerned that the number of countries that will manage to keep their deficit under this threshold will be so low that we'll be able to count them on the fingers of one hand,” said the PM, adding that a 6-percent deficit would probably exceed the acceptable level, however.

The Finance Ministry currently expects Slovakia's public finance deficit this year to stand at 3.04 percent, but this estimate is still based on a prognosis that economic growth will exceed 2 percent, the TASR newswire wrote. The Slovak central bank (NBS) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are currently forecasting that the Slovak economy will shrink by more than 2 percent in 2009.

In order to change the parameters of the state budget, including its deficit, it is necessary to wait until the middle of the year, when economic developments in the first six months will be known, said Fico. Because the government, according to the PM, does not want to adopt anti-crisis measures at the expense of the deficit, it is ready to make further savings on expenditures.

“I think that there are still enough reserves for 10-15 percent cuts. I could speak about a sum of around €1 billion that could be used for support programmes, if they are necessary," said Fico. He added that these cuts will not affect social programmes at all. TASR

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

Top stories

Cloud computing becomes a standard

External servers are now much more secure than local business ones, according to experts.

Slovak firms have their eyes on the cloud.

Slovaks drink less and less

Behind the decline in alcohol consumption is, for example, the abandoning of the habit of drinking at work – typical especially during communism, according to an expert.

Kiska: Even Europe has its aggressive neighbour

President Andrej Kiska addressed UN commenting poverty, instability and climate change.

President Andrej Kiska

Arca Capital enters the banking sector

Czech and Slovak financial group acquires a majority share in Austrian private bank Wiener Privatbank.

Bank, illustrative stock photo