Slovakia's public finance consolidation plan is trustworthy, according to Pier Carlo Padoan, the chief economist for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) who met Prime Minister Robert Fico in Bratislava on May 11, the TASR newswire reported.
However, Padoan stated that the process of fiscal consolidation should be accompanied by reforms designed to boost the country's economic growth. According to him, Slovakia, along with many other countries hit hard by the global economic recession last year, is now recovering well in European terms, achieving rapid growth.
“This is an opportunity to come to terms with the issues surrounding fiscal consolidation – problematic in Slovakia – but other countries are struggling much more in this respect. We're confident that this country has a chance to make it out of the crisis in good health,” said Padoan, as quoted by TASR.
Finance Minister Ján Počiatek said that the OECD has an optimistic view of the current situation in Slovakia, as the country is expected to have the highest economic growth in the European Union this year.
Slovakia's public finance deficit reached 6.8 percent of GDP last year, but the government has plans to cut it to 5.5 percent this year. The government expects to meet the 3-percent threshold prescribed by Brussels in 2012. However, several analysts have warned recently that this year's deficit could end up even worse than the one in 2009, at somewhere between 7.0 and 7.5 percent of GDP.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
12. May 2010 at 14:00