Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Fico surprises ministers with call for cuts

PRIME Minister Robert Fico surprised members of his cabinet on Monday by announcing that his government had to cut 15 to 20 percent from its planned expenditures for next year in order to be able to afford its welfare, education, health care and agricultural spending programs.

Fico made the statement following a meeting of the Coalition Council, the government’s senior body, to discuss next year’s budget.

Some ministers claimed they didn’t know where the extra money would come from. “Even the current budget draft isn’t enough given the tasks that we have to perform,” said Environment Minister Peter Višváder.

Other ministries, notably economy and education, said they would only be able to save more money by cutting staff.

The socialist Fico government has promised both to spend more money on lower income groups, and to reduce the public finance deficit under three percent of GDP, as required for adoption of the euro in 2009. The political opposition has expressed doubts it will be able to accomplish both goals at the same time.

Top stories

Bratislava has already forgotten the Pressburg ghost

The burnt prints of the penitential reeve’s right hand made Bratislava famous over almost all Europe. Now the story has been almost completely forgotten.

The wooden box with burnt prints.

Product quality laid on the EU table

Concerns over the different quality of same brand products are confirmed, but will anything change soon?

Will shopping in supermarkets soon become a thing of the past?

Everton beats Ružomberok Video

But the victory was narrow.

Peter Maslo (front) and Davy Klaassen (back)

Foreigners: Events in Bratislava Video

Tips for performances and other events in the capital between July 28 and August 6, including concerts, parties, festivals, classical music, inline skating, exhibitions and more.

Folk Painting Vajnory, Stamp