The plan to cut Slovakia’s public-finance deficit to 5.5 percent next year is binding for the cabinet and will be met, prime minister and Smer party leader Robert Fico said on Tuesday, November 3, in the wake of the latest forecasts by the European Commission, which expects Slovakia's deficit to reach 6 percent of GDP in 2010.
“The Smer party doesn't want to retire in political terms next year, but wants to win the election in a manner that will ensure that it will set up the government. Why would we draw up a budget that would be a kind of a landmine for us?” Fico said, as quoted by the TASR newswire.
The European Commission's current evaluation didn't take into consideration Slovakia's state-budget proposal for 2010, currently being discussed by parliament, Fico said. If it had, he argued the prognosis would have estimated the deficit at 5.5 percent of GDP. Finance Minister Ján Počiatek added that future reports drawn up by the Commission will take into account Slovakia's budget, with the estimates set to predict better developments for Slovakia than is the case in the latest report. The expected rise in Slovakia's debt to 40 percent of GDP is no problem for the country, said the minister. In this context, Fico pointed to Slovakia’s ranking within the EU and the eurozone.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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