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PM: Budget May Need Supplementing

Ljubljana, 01 April (STA) - Prime Minister Borut Pahor indicated on Thursday that the 2010 budget would probably need supplementing if the budget deficit is to be cut by 0.5% as planned. He said Slovenia's economic growth is now projected at 0.6% for this year.

Pahor made the comments at a press conference following the weekly session of the cabinet which also reviewed the spring forecast by the Institute for Macroeconomic Analysis and Development, which will be presented to the public on Friday.

Pahor reminded reporters of the government goal of the end of last year under which Slovenia's economy is to expend by 1% in 2010, while labour force unemployment is to stay below 7% and budget shortfall is to be reduced by 0.5%.

"Where do we stand at the moment," Pahor wondered, answering that the economic growth is currently forecast at 0.6%, while labour force unemployment is to be 0.2 percentage points higher than planned.

As to the planned cut in budget deficit, he said that "we may have to start thinking about a supplementary budget if we want to attain this goal". In that case the government would have to look for ways to make additional savings in public expenditure.

Slovenia's economy is recovering, Pahor assured the press, projecting that the country could catch up with the most successful economies in two to three years. The economic growth forecast for 2012 tops 2% and the one for 2013 is above 3%.

The prime minister was moderately satisfied with the success in tackling the economic, social and financial crisis. He expressed concern about low credit activity, growing unemployment and the situation in the construction industry.

He announced that the government would adopt systemic measures to help construction within the next ten days. He said the measures would be designed for workers who lose their jobs.

One of the ways the government is helping construction is by visiting countries where it believes Slovenian companies can do business or which are interested in doing business with Slovenia, Pahor explained.

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