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State budget plan for 2007 sees deficit at Sk36.4 billion

SLOVAKIA's 2007 state budget deficit should total Sk36.4 billion (€981.83 million) on revenues of Sk309.2 billion and expenditures of Sk345.6 billion, according to a draft budget presented by the Finance Ministry on October 6.

On August 16 the Slovak government committed to a public finance deficit of 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2007, 2.5 percent in 2008 and 2 percent in 2009, the TASR newswire wrote.

The public finance deficit in the budget draft for next year is also projected at 3 percent of GDP and includes the impact of the introduction of the pension insurance capitalization pillar, which is put at 1.1 percent of GDP.

“The proposed budget meets the conditions of the reformed European Union Stability and Growth Pact, which requires the deficit be cut annually by at least 0.5 percent until we reach a balanced budget," the finance ministry document said.

Budget subsidies for local government authorities total Sk25.61 billion and include Sk15.39 billion and Sk10.22 billion for municipal and regional (VUC) governments, respectively.

Slovakia's overall expenditures in 2007 may exceed the plan by no more than one percent, excluding EU funds and state budget funds designed to finance joint EU and country programs.

Fico's cabinet must submit the draft 2007 budget for parliamentary approval by October 15.

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