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ECONOMIC BRIEFS

Alcohol, tobacco and fuel tax increased

The Slovak government increased the tax on alcohol, tobacco and fuel on November 10. The tax hikes were designed to support revenues in the 2000 budget, the cabinet said in a statement on November 8.

Deputy Prime Minister for Economy Ivan Mikloš said last week that the new tax measures would be implemented to compensate for the previous scrapping of a motor vehicle tax. Slovak media had criticised the vehicle tax proposal because taxes for vehicles would have risen based on engine size and fallen with car age, regardless of the vehicle's price or environmental impact.

The government said it wanted to pass the 2000 budget by November 10 in order to give parliament enough time for deliberation and approval of the budget before the end of the year. The 2000 budget sets a deficit of 18 billion crowns, or 2% of gross domestic product, on revenues of approximately 192 billion Slovak crowns and expenditures totalling 210 billion crowns.

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