Budget vote near

THE COALITION is expected to pass the state budget in parliament despite current problems inside one of the ruling parties, the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union.

President Rudolf Schuster suggested recently that he would not sign the 2004 state budget. However, some coalition MPs, such as Jirko Malchárek from the ruling New Citizen's Alliance (ANO), told the Slovak daily SME on December 8 that, with the help of some independent MPs, the ruling legislators would be able to override the presidential veto.

For a state budget to be passed, the support of a majority of the present MPs is required. The coalition officially has 75 MPs of the 150 strong chamber and three independent MPs who left the ANO and are expected to vote for the budget.

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