IN SHORT

Smer approves election programme

THE OPPOSITION Smer party approved its election programme on May 21. Among other plans, party intends to introduce differentiated VAT tax rates if it gains power following the June vote.

According to Smer Chairman Robert Fico, VAT should be lower on basic food products, medication, education, and science and research.

Smer also said it would keep the current 19-percent income tax rate for business entities unchanged, but would like to see the tax rate increased to 25 percent for natural monopolies, banks and companies with high profits. The party did not define what it meant by "high profits".

Fico also confirmed that his party wanted to secure a 3-percent public finance deficit in order to meet the country's goal of adopting the euro as planned in 2009.

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