Prime Minister Iveta Radicova met representatives of the Association of Towns and Villages of Slovakia (ZMOS) and regions (VUCs) today, 15 July, in an effort to find ways to help flood-stricken areas swiftly.
She agreed with the associations to arrange substitute housing for those people who lost their homes due to the floods and who are in dire need of assistance.
Head of ZMOS, Michal Sykora, outlined for the Prime Minister the kind of financial problems the municipalities are having due to the shortfall in their revenues. “High unemployment is a key factor” said Radicova. She intends to discuss the volume of assistance for municipalities once the Cabinet’s manifesto has been approved and the situation in public finances clarified.
The heads of regions and municipalities are well aware of the serious economic condition of the country. “Initial estimates indicate that Slovakia’s deficit is over 7 percent of the GDP, hardly 5.5 percent (which was declared by the former finance minister, Jan Pociatek), and the debt has risen by EUR 1 billion in the most recent period alone,” Radicova said.
“This country’s deficit is exceptionally high, and will be very close to that of Greece towards the end of the year,” said Radicova.
ZMOS head Sykora expressed his contentment after the meeting over the swift agreement with the PM about shared solutions. The situation in regions requires nothing short of a miracle, however, and will certainly test the coffers of the state in the coming months at least.