The Slovenia Times

Finance minister confident about fiscal situation


After six years, the European Commission assessed the procedure for excessive general government deficit against Slovenia is to be halted, which is a big step, Mramor said. "We're on the right track."

The minister said the Commission's forecast for Slovenia's deficit to be below 3% of GDP this year and stand at 2.3% next year was in line with the government's forecast.

"This is actually an extremely important step towards stability of the public finances, which means the business environment will be significantly better due to better credit ratings of Slovenia and it also means that the public debt will start decreasing, lowering the burden for younger generations."

But the minister warns that the efforts for lowering deficit will have to continue. Slovenia is now moving from a corrective to preventive phase of the procedure over excessive general government deficit, which too will be very demanding, Mramor said, noting that the country would need to reduce its deficit every year by a certain amount until 2020.

The Commission will closely monitor the implementation of the country's goal of having a completely balanced budget by 2020. It believes there is substantial risk that Slovenia will not reach the 0.6% fiscal effort envisaged in 2016.

Mramor stressed that next year would definitely be a relatively risky year. "But we assess that the 0.6% effort has actually been achieved with our current budget, so we still think we are on the right track."

He is confident that like in 2015, in 2016 Slovenia will meet the conditions from the stability and growth pact and the fiscal rule law.

In line with the Commission's recommendations, the country is also setting up a fiscal council that will monitor the implementation of the fiscal rule and the goal of having a balanced budget.

Commenting on the EU aid intended for countries hit the hardest by the refugee crisis, Mramor said that "two billion euros were reserved in a flexible way for the refugee crisis", so talks were to continue on which costs will be reimbursed.

"I think we are on the right track to getting a good part of our costs due to migration covered by EU funds," he said.


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