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NEWS BRIEFS

Sk61 billion deficit planned

THE FINANCE Ministry estimates that the Slovak state will require more than Sk600 billion (€14.2 billion) to

run its services during 2004. Social security provider Sociálna poisťovňa, which administers pension payments,

will consume most of the state's purse next year.

The Finance Ministry, which has submitted the draft state budget for interdepartmental review, estimates the

budget gap at Sk61 billion (€1.44 billion) with total budget revenues at Sk249 billion (€5.9 billion) and

expenditures at Sk311 billion (€7.36 billion).

The public finance deficit is projected to be Sk50 billion (€1.18 billion), 3.9 percent of the planned GDP.

Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš said that Slovakia's entry to the EU, changes to the country's social welfare

system, and education financing have had the greatest impact on the draft budget.

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