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Fico: We will fight against exemptions from austerity measures

There are four basic priorities for the European Union’s member states emanating from the recent summit, said Prime Minister Robert Fico after the meeting of the EU leaders held on March 14 and 15, adding that they also concern Slovakia.

There are four basic priorities for the European Union’s member states emanating from the recent summit, said Prime Minister Robert Fico after the meeting of the EU leaders held on March 14 and 15, adding that they also concern Slovakia.

First and foremost, the government plans to continue with consolidation of public finances and tax collection.

“I guarantee that our consolidation efforts won't slow down or weaken in 2013,” Fico said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “We have a specific target of 3 percent [deficit per GDP] in mind that we plan to pursue. This yields us specific results on financial markets.”

The PM added that the cabinet does not want to focus solely on income but also tackle other issues, such as tax evasion.

Fico also said that he learned about alleged efforts of a number of large EU countries, such as France, to be exempted from the responsibility of cutting their deficits to the agreed figures, yet this news was unconfirmed.

“We will surely put up a protest against this, although what good that will do us I cannot say at the moment,” he said, as quoted by TASR.

Another EU priority is the support for economic growth. Fico stressed that money from EU structural funds should be used mainly for the construction of infrastructure rather than various trainings and other “soft” measures.

“I asked the president of the European Council [Herman Van Rompuy] to ensure that the EC stays flexible with respect to the financial resources for 2013,” Fico said, adding that support for employment of young people has proven to be successful and it would be advisable to continue in this vein.

Among other priorities is the revival of cash flow into the economy, particularly in the sphere of loans for small and medium-sized businesses and cushioning the social impacts of the economic crisis, TASR wrote.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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