Lowering the public-finance deficit from 6.8 percent of GDP in 2009 to 5.5 percent this year represents quite a challenge, but the government is determined to meet its obligations, Finance Minister Ján Počiatek (a Smer nominee) said after a government session on May 5.
However, the European Commission has said it does not expect Slovakia to succeed. In its prognosis, also published on May 5, it estimated that the public deficit would stand at 6 percent of GDP this year.
"I look at those estimates with some respect and take them into consideration, but we have a task to do, namely, to keep it at 5.5 percent this year. We'll do our utmost to have the deficit at 5.5 and not 6 percent," Počiatek said, as quoted by the TASR newswire.
According to the minister, ongoing budget management isn't indicative of how public finances will turn out at the end of the year. Počiatek claimed that the higher deficit figures this year are also due to the need to cover losses sustained by state-owned insurer Sociálna Poisťovna as a result of the private second pension pillar.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
6. May 2010 at 14:00