Compromise in payment to farmers in sight

THE RULING coalition is nearing an agreement over the contentious issue of direct payments to farmers for next year. The agreement is important for the passage of the 2004 state budget.

Originally, the ruling Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) demanded that Slovak farmers receive 55 percent of what the average EU farmer receives, but the proposed state budget cited 50 percent. Now several coalition MPs have suggested that a compromise of 52.5 percent could be reached shortly.

SMK chairman Béla Bugár confirmed the information for the Slovak daily Pravda.

Ruling MPs will meet with the cabinet members on December 1 before the next month's vote on the state budget.

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

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