Cabinet approves state budget, SMK ministers give no support

The Cabinet has approved the state budget for 2004. Only ministers for the Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) abstained from voting, due to the reluctance of their partners to give farmers direct supplementary payments at 55 percent of what EU farmers get. Environment Minister László Miklós (SMK) voted against the budget, as he is dissatisfied with the financial allocation to his ministry, news wire SITA reported.

The budget targets the deficit at Sk59.55 billion (€1.44 billion) while budget revenues should reach Sk250.03 billion (€6.05 billion) and expenditures Sk309.57 billion (€7.45 billion).

The Cabinet projects next year's public finance deficit at Sk50.3 billion (€1.22 billion), which is 3.9 percent of the estimated GDP.

Prime Minister Mikulás Dzurinda announced that in the next few days, negotiations will be held to gain support for the budget from deputy factions of the ruling coalition and independents in parliament. Currently, the power balance between the ruling coalition and opposition appears even.

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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