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Socio-economic development worst since 2000

SLOVAKIA’s socio-economic rating for the whole of last year stood at -19.2 points, according to a report, The Assessment of Economic and Social Measures (HESO), prepared by 61 experts from the INEKO economic think-tank, the TASR newswire reported. It was the worst result since 2000, when the rating was calculated for the first time.

SLOVAKIA’s socio-economic rating for the whole of last year stood at -19.2 points, according to a report, The Assessment of Economic and Social Measures (HESO), prepared by 61 experts from the INEKO economic think-tank, the TASR newswire reported. It was the worst result since 2000, when the rating was calculated for the first time.

According to the analysis, published on June 1, the new Road Act was the best piece of legislation adopted in the final quarter of 2008 in terms of its contribution to Slovakia's socio-economic development.

Apart from the Road Act, the assessment was also boosted by the adoption of the euro and the reduction of the Slovak central bank’s key interest rates by 1.75 percentage points.

On the other hand, allowing the option of constructing highways and roads on private land even without the owner’s approval, the re-opening of the private second pillar of the pension system, and moves related to the state budget for 2009 are viewed as the most harmful decisions made by the state in the final quarter of 2008.

The land measure is “a flagrant case of continuing major state intervention into people’s property rights, their personal freedoms and legal security in Slovakia. This could have devastating effects on the morals of the whole of society”, the experts said.

The re-opening of the second pillar brings serious instability and insecurity to the whole pension system, as well as mistrust in private savings; it also raises the extent of political intervention, which sets a dangerous precedent for the future, TASR quoted the report as saying.

The state budget for 2009 is evaluated as the third-worst measure of the fourth quarter of last year. It says that the budget was already based on unrealistic macroeconomic estimates when parliament adopted it.

“If we had more responsibly managed public funds in the good times, which would have required lower deficits now, we would have had more space for crisis measures even after the shortfall in revenues, without that leading to violation of the Maastricht rules and without the threat of serious imbalances in the economy,” INEKO said, as quoted by the SITA newswire.

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