SLOVAKIA will pay roughly Sk15.5 billion (€388 million) to the EU budget and may get almost Sk40 billion (€1 billion) if EU funds are fully used, resulting in a surplus of Sk24.5 billion (€600 million).
Vladimír Tvaroška, state secretary of Slovakia's Finance Ministry, told the news agency TASR the figures after EU finance ministers met to discuss the 2005 EU budget in Brussels on July 16.
In its first reading, the EU Council of Ministers approved the first budget proposal, cutting expenditures by €4.35 billion to €105.22 billion (0.99 percent of the union’s GDP) from €109.57 billion (1.03 percent of the union’s GDP) as proposed by the European Commission (EC).
"If the implementation of our projects proceeds as expected, Slovakia may get almost Sk40 billion from the EU budget," Tvaroška said. The EC agreed to the reduction of spending on agriculture but not on structural and external projects or administration.
Poland, Hungary, and Slovenia, all new EU members, raised objections to the EC proposal of €300 million for the common agricultural policy instead of the €926 million agreed to in the Accession Treaty. The EC said its decision resulted from the situation of world markets, changes in the exchange rate, and other factors. The issue will be resolved in the fall.
Compiled by Marta Ďurianová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
19. Jul 2004 at 10:34