PM says next government could do without Economy Ministry

The next government could do without an Economy Ministry and slim down to only 14 ministries, said Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda at a conference called 'Financial Management 2006' in Bratislava.


Several political parties are now considering scrapping the Economy Ministry after June's parliamentary elections.

"Other ministries would take over the tasks of the economy ministry. For example, tourism could come under the ministry for regional development," said Dzurinda.

Opposition HZDS Chairman Vladimír Mečiar does not agree with the eventual cancellation of the Economy Ministry. He said the institution is important, and scrapping it would not make public administration more effective, the TASR news wire wrote.

"There is no connection between saving money on public administration and the number of ministries," Mečiar said.

The opposition KDH party, on the other hand, agrees with getting rid of the Economy Ministry. However, party vice-chairman Julius Brocka said that it was also possible to cut public administration expenses at other levels.

Dzurinda said that the National Property Fund privatization agency could be cancelled as well.

"The Telecom Bureau could merge with Post Office Bureau and the same could be done with Public Procurement Bureau and the Anti-Monopoly Bureau," the prime minister said.

Dzurinda's Slovak Democratic and Christian Union party also proposes the cancellation of the post of deputy premier for minorities. At the same time, the party would introduce the post of deputy prime minister for informatisation.

Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
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