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Fico cabinet has new uses for EU funds

THE CABINET of Prime Minister Robert Fico wants to change the manner in which 11 billion euros in funding from the European Union is to be used in Slovakia from 2007 to 2013 by earmarking less money for education and more for regional development than planned by the former Dzurinda government.

The Construction Ministry, for example, proposes to cut the previous cabinet’s plan to spend over 3.4 billion euros on highway construction to 2.5 billion, as well as to cut over 1 billion euros from support for research and the development of a knowledge-based economy.

On the other hand, spending on regional schools, hospitals, social facilities, monuments and the environment would be boosted from the Dzurinda government’s plan.

The cabinet’s new proposal, which is still being debated by the ministries, should be ready for approval by the European Commission by mid-September.

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