Government in Slovakia is not prevalent in economic activities. It is in line with many other European economies. Total government expenditures stood at 46.5% of GDP in 2015. Moderate public deficits, below 3%, stayed within the Maastricht criteria. Public debt is also moderate, reaching 52.9% of GDP in 2015. It is easily financed. However, this level is very close to the legal public debt brake and could prove to be hard to maintain in future without further reforms. Slovakia has been recently recording robust growth, spurred by rising investments due to higher EU fund absorption, FDIs and rising private demand due to decreased unemployment. However, increased government restrictions and meddling in the private pension funds and private healthcare is a worrisome sign, maybe anticipating
more alarming measures, such as those in the neighbouring Hungary. State-owned enterprises (SOE) are present in the economy and play a very important role in sectors considered to be national monopolies, most notably transport and energy. Privatization program was continued in 2015 with government minority stake in Slovak Telekom sold to its majority shareholder Deutsche Telekom. However, direct sale instead of an initial public offering on the stock exchange was heavily criticized, as a way of privatization that favoured the buyer. In early 2016, the government declared that privatization of SOEs of strategic importance will be stopped, but there are no specifications which companies would be affected. Management of SOEs is considered not as efficient as of their counterparts in the private sector. Taxes are moderate for European standards: corporate tax is set at 22%, and income tax is moderately progressive at 19% and 25%, upon a relatively high threshold.