Budget passed in record speed

Parliament approved the state budget for 2003 in a record two days of debate, setting a deficit target of Sk57.6 billion for next year, or 4.9 per cent of GDP, well down from this year’s expected 7.7 per cent of GDP.

All 78 of the ruling coalition’s MPs in the 150-seat house voted in favour. Rather than run expenditures up with new demands as in past years, MPs this year even trimmed the cabinet’s spending figure by Sk700 million.

Although the 2003 deficit figure is formally Sk18 billion higher than this year’s, the 2002 budget is regarded as unreliable because it does not include spending on bank restructuring. The true, cumulative public finance deficit for 2002, when calculated in line with EU standards, is forecast at Sk53.8 billion.

Compiled by Tom Nicholson from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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