Simsek: "Our new budget puts Turkey on track to achieve a low deficit"
Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek yesterday said Turkey will be one of the few nations to achieve the Maastricht criteria in terms of budget deficits. Presenting the 2011 budget to Parliament, he said that during its preparations, the nation's potential had been taken into consideration along with its needs. "The 2011 fiscal budget plans to increase investment across Turkey, support the private sector, focus on economic and social development, increase welfare and protect Turkey's fiscal stability," said Simsek. Turkey was able to meet the Maastricht criteria between 2005 and 2008, he said. "Thanks to strong political stability and the medium-term economic program, we will achieve the Maastricht criteria with a low budget deficit in 2011, which makes us exceptional among other countries in Europe," he said. He added that the government's successful structural reforms have led to a decrease in Turkey's risk premium. Simsek also pointed to initiatives on renewable energy resources and nuclear energy meant to reduce Turkey's energy dependence, which he partially blamed for the current account deficit.