Government approves program

CABINET ministers unanimously approved the government's program manifesto for the upcoming four years. Robert Fico's government aims to turn Slovakia into a social state while at the same time carrying out a cautious budgetary policy, SME wrote.

According to Fico, the government has consistently included all pre-election promises into the cabinet program. Among the major features of the new government program are increased taxation on people with above-standard earnings, or the so-called millionaire tax, and a reduced VAT rate for selected goods and services, though which good and services will be affected are not specified in the program.

The government also plans to pay partial compensation for the clients of failed non-banking institutions, though the value of the compensation is also not specified.

In general, the program lacks specific figures and the PM refused to specify them during a press conference yesterday, arguing that the cabinet program was not a draft law.

The cabinet also pledged to fulfill unconditionally the Maastricht criteria for the introduction of euro in 2009. Just a few weeks ago, however, Fico said the government would adopt the euro in 2009 only if it proved to be advantageous to the country.

According to Fico, meeting the plans of a social state while at the same time also meeting the tough criteria for the adoption of the euro is only possible through policies aimed at increasing economic growth and improving savings on the side of the government consumption.

Today Fico will introduce the government program in parliament. The opposition has suggested that it would not support the government manifesto but the new government, which has a strong majority in parliament, is expected to pass the manifesto easily.

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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