In Tuesday's report, the European Commission gave different forecasts for the budget deficit in 2024. Slovak Finance Minister Ladislav Kamenicky said in Brussels after a meeting of EU finance ministers that the views of the government and the European Commission differed, especially in the area of energy aid.
The Commission said the deficit will increase to 6.3 percent this year from 6.1 percent last year. The government says the deficit will fall to six per cent this year from 6.5 per cent last year.
The Commission pointed out that the main difference is in the accounting for expenditure to help reduce energy expenditure paid for by EU funds. “Our Government has clearly stated that the impact of energy prices on the population would be in the form of up to a 120% increase in prices, so we are still trying to help households, unlike other European countries, and we certainly will in 2024. The European Commission has a different view on this," Kamenický explained. However, he stressed that the EC praised Slovakia for supporting public investment and for increasing it, which he said was good news for Slovaks.
He also pointed out that EU finance ministers have agreed on new financial rules that will apply in the EU from 1 January 2025. For the current government, this means a commitment to consolidate public finances by half a percent in 2024 and one percent in 2025.