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BUSINESS BRIEFS

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 ($1.4 billion) for next year, or 4.9 per cent of GDP, well down from this year's expected deficit of 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 trimmed the cabinet's spending figure by Sk700 million ($16.7 million).

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Shortage of vegetables in Europe’s supermarkets is a hoax

An overview of hoaxes that have appeared in the past few weeks

Household consumption improved.

Slow down, fashion

Most people are unaware that buying too many clothes too harms the environment.

In shallow waters, experts are expendable

Mihál says that it is Sulík, the man whom his political opponents mocked for having a calculator for a brain, who “is pulling the party out of liberal waters and towards somewhere completely different”.

Richard Sulík is a man of slang.

Poll: Smer followed by SaS, KDH also in parliament

Had the general election taken place in mid-February, the opposition Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) would place second, and the now extra-parliamentary KDH would get nine seats.

Alojz Hlina took over at the helm of KDH