Slovakia has been told by the European Commission to cut its general government deficit by the end of 2013. In a recommendation to the EU Council, the commission proposes giving nine European Union countries including Slovakia until 2013 to bring their deficits down to below the 3 percent limit set by Europe’s Growth and Stability Pact.
A spokesman for the Slovak Finance Ministry, Miroslav Šmál, said that the EU Council is to decide on the recommendation on December 2. If the council confirms the recommendation, 20 of EU’s 27 members will be included in the excessive deficit procedure, Šmál said.
The Finance Ministry said that the deadline for reducing the deficit was appropriate. Šmál stressed that the general government budget passed by parliament last week assumes an even more ambitious consolidation. According to him, the budget will mean the deficit is brought below 3% of GDP a year earlier than the EC requires, in 2012. The parliament-approved budget predicts that the general government budget deficit will narrow from this year's 6.3 percent of GDP to 5.5 percent next year. In 2011, the gap should shrink to 4.2 percent of GDP and achieve the Maastricht deficit criterion of 3 percent of GDP in 2012.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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