THE GENERAL government deficit in 2009 in Slovakia was 7.9 percent of GDP and the country’s total public debt reached 35.4 percent of GDP according to calculations made by Eurostat, the EU Statistical Office, the SITA newswire reported.
The Finance Ministry commented that Slovakia ended up among the less responsible EU states because only seven of the 26 countries that provided data reported a wider budget deficit for 2009 than Slovakia. However, in terms of total public debt, Slovakia still had one of the lowest ratios of indebtedness in the EU, SITA wrote.
A comparison of deficits and total debt between 2009 and 2008 shows a similar trend. Within the EU27 and the eurozone, Slovakia had one of the largest increases in its annual deficit but the country found itself in the middle of the chart for total public debt as a percentage of GDP.
Among the four Visegrad Group countries, Slovakia had the largest annual deficit as a percentage of GDP in 2009 and the biggest change in its annual deficit as well as its total debt.
Nevertheless, Slovakia remained second best in terms of its total debt to GDP ratio. The difference between Slovakia and the Czech Republic, which posted the lowest debt to GDP ratio in the Visegrad Group, was only 0.1 percent of GDP.
The increase in the deficit and the debt from previously reported figures was attributable to reclassification of capital injections that were made to certain government-owned firms. Based on information provided by the ministries of economy, transport and health on the current and expected economic results of public companies that received government financial assistance, Eurostat reclassified their financial assistance in 2009 as capital transfers that had a negative impact on the deficit and overall debt.
SITA wrote that accrued tax revenues and social contributions that were less than previously recorded also had a negative impact on the ratios for 2009.
1. Nov 2010 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff