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Finance minister says Slovakia should forgive Iraq's debt

Slovakia should help out post-war Iraq by forgiving its debt to Slovakia, Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš told parliament.

The government has yet not decided to do so, and there are no figures available for the amount the debt represents, the TASR news wire wrote.

According to Mikloš, this form of aid does not put any pressure on the country's public finance and complies with the obligations on providing aid to developing and indebted countries that arise from Slovakia's OECD membership.

Asked by Karol Ondriaš, an MP from the Slovak Communist Party, how much Slovakia had already spent on the recovery of Iraq, the minister said that the figure last year represented $12.6 million (€10.6 million).

Of this, around $8.8 million (€7.4 million) was allocated for an engineering unit, $3 million (€2.5 million) for an anti-chemical unit, and another $700,000 (€589,800) was provided in the form of humanitarian aid.

For 2004, the government slated $12.5 million (€10.5 million) for the Slovak Armed Forces engineering unit deployed in Iraq and another Sk3 million (€2.5 million) for funding concrete cooperation projects.

"The planned and already provided contributions supplied to Iraq by Slovakia have proven Slovakia's support to the international community in terms of Iraq's social and economic recovery," Mikloš added.

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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