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Funds compromise offered

The Finance Ministry has offered a compromise to MPs opposing the elimination of off-budget state funds.

Brigita Schmögnerová has put forward a proposal whereby the assets of the funds would remain under the control of the ministries which now administer them.

The government has pledged the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank it will close the funds before next year. Schmögnerová has said that unless the funds are closed next year's budget will have to be completely reworked. There is also a threat that unless they are cancelled 2002 will start with a temporary budget in place.

MPs have also presented Schmögnerová with demands that Sk4.3 billion ($87 million) in expenditures be added to the 2002 state budget draft, largely on agriculture and domestic security.

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