The new government will meet its predecessor's commitment to reduce the state budget deficit to under 3 percent of GDP in 2013, Finance Minister Peter Kažimír (Smer) told representatives of the European Commission in Brussels on April 16, the TASR newswire reported.
Kažimír met Thomas Wieser, the Economic and Financial Committee (EFC) president, Olli Rehn, the EU’s Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro, Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-president of the European Commission and Janusz Lewandowski, the EU’s Commissioner for Financial Programming and the Budget, TASR wrote.
The new finance minister described the former Finance Ministry's estimate of Slovakia's deficit in 2012 at 4.4 percent of GDP as too optimist, noting the increases in salaries of doctors and nurses, cost pertaining to the strategic oil reserves, troubles in the state-run railway companies and lower-than-expected income of self-administration bodies as the main problems.
Kažimír added that the deficit of 4.6 percent promised by the former government will probably not be attainable this year. TASR wrote that representatives of the Commission were not pleased by that prospect as that goal was higher than a promise made by Iveta Radičová's government to reduce the deficit below 4 percent in 2012.
Šefčovič said the European Commission sees a possibility to boost state revenue by increasing the efficiency of VAT collection, re-evaluating property taxes and reducing tax evasion.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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