Fiscal Deficit and Economic Growth in Eastern European Transition Countries : is there a Link?
The countries of Central and Eastern Europe, despite similarities in their routes towards market economy and the EU membership, often differed in their choices regarding fiscal policy and the fiscal instruments to be applied while trying to attain their social and economic goals. At the same time, the social and economic effects of the fiscal measures applied sometimes deviated from the intended ones. Some of the new post-communist members of the European Union have already joined - and others aspire to join - the Eurozone, whose stability depends on compliance with the adopted fiscal criteria. All those developments give rise to questions about the most efficient fiscal solutions available to the national economies in the process of attaining the assumed economic goals. Another question well worth considering is whether in the perspective of further economic integration the nations of the former Eastern Block are capable of continuously meeting the fiscal criteria of such an integration. The recent developments in Greece have demonstrated that even the "old" EU members may have some problems there, and that such problems affect other members of the European Community. The analysis has demonstrated the risks related to unsound selection of fiscal policy instruments that are run by the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The core objective of fiscal policy is attaining a high rate of sustainable economic growth. However, the emerging economies are often tempted to achieve the short-term social objectives. The budget deficit may be utilised to achieve such objectives e.g. to maintain a political consensus. Still, a frequent side effect is an increased public debt. (original abstract)
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