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Slovak public debt grows to more than 50 percent of GDP

In the third quarter of 2012, Slovakia’s public debt exceeded 51 percent of the country’s GDP, the Sme daily reported on Thursday, January 24. A similar level of public debt was last recorded in 2000, data from Eurostat, the EU statistics agency, show.

In the third quarter of 2012, Slovakia’s public debt exceeded 51 percent of the country’s GDP, the Sme daily reported on Thursday, January 24. A similar level of public debt was last recorded in 2000, data from Eurostat, the EU statistics agency, show.

If the Slovak Statistics Office confirms a similar level of debt for the whole of 2012 – as it is expected to – Finance Minister Peter Kažimír will have to explain to the European Union why it has grown to such a high level. In the budget, the government forecast that debt would reach 52.2 percent in 2012, equivalent to €37.4 billion. (In 2011, it was 43.3 percent of GDP, or €29.9 billion.) The debt grew partly because of Slovakia’s continued budget deficit and partly due to the country’s obligations towards the eurozone bailout fund, Sme wrote.

Kažimír rejected an attempt by the opposition party Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) to give more decision-making powers to parliament concerning EU issues in exchange for its support for an amendment affecting provisional state borrowing. Kažimír said, as quoted by the SITA newswire, that the amendment concerns professional and technical issues, and should not be politicised. The minister stressed that state borrowing in anticipation of future outgoings must be viewed impartially and professionally, in order to take timely advantage of good conditions on financial markets.

Sources: Sme, SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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