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Government does everything to ease debt crisis

30. January 2012

Skopje, 26 January 2012 - The Government is doing everything in its power to mitigate the wave coming from the European Union, where 60 percent our products are exported, along with additional 30 percent to regional states, which are also linked to the Union, said Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski at Thursday's Q&A session at the Parliament.

"It is important to note that the Republic of Macedonia is in a safe position with regards to its debt, taking into consideration the fact that most EU states are faced with serious difficulties due to the debt amount. We have a low debt of 26.3 percent, which puts the country into the low-indebted group of states", emphasized Gruevski.

According to him, despite all problems in the EU in the course of 2011, the Government has managed to keep the budget deficit at 2.5 percent.

"The Central Bank has said the Denar is stable and the foreign currency reserves are highest in the country's history", added PM Gruevski.

Moreover, he referred to the reduction of the unemployment rate from 37 percent in 2005 to the current 31.2 percent, whereas developments are constantly monitored.

"We hold meetings of the economic council every week, reviewing all economic trends and measures for mitigation of all negative tendencies. One of these measures for assistance of Macedonia's economy is the EUR 50 million credit line from the European Investment Bank with low interest rate of 5.5 percent for companies. After it is exhausted, we are planning to withdraw a fresh one in the amount of EUR 100 million", stressed Gruevski.

He reminded that growth in the first two quarters of 2011 amounted to 5.2 percent, but rates dropped in the second half of the year due to Europe's debt crisis.

"GDP rose by 2.3 percent in Q3, bringing the generated growth in the first three quarters of 2011 to 4.1 percent, which is still one of the highest in Europe. However, there is a trend leading to recession, which will have a certain effect on Macedonia", underlined PM Gruevski.