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SMK wants higher compensations for farmers

Ruling coalition parties failed to unite on the issue of the next year's state budget. Subsidies for farmers and aid for investors remain points of possible clash between the ruling partners.

Although Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda said that the coalition agreed not to give farmers more funds than the equivalent of 50 percent of the European average as compensation for direct payments, the Party of Hungarian Coalition (SMK) claims that the agreement was not definite.

The SMK wants the compensations to equal 55 percent. Deputy Prime Minister Pál Csáky warned that ignoring the SMK demands might result in a "reserved attitude" on the part of the four SMK ministers when voting on the state budget, daily SME wrote.

Csáky admitted that with subsidies hiked to 50 percent of those in the EU, Slovak farmers would in 2004 receive Sk5 billion (€121 billion) more from the state purse than this year, but he also warned that the market competition would be much stronger.

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

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