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Wrangling over state budget begins

THE RULING coalition parties have failed to reach an agreement over the draft state budget for 2005 at their September 13 meeting, the daily Sme reported.

The demands of the Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK), the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), the New Citizens' Alliance (ANO) would inflate the original proposal by Sk10 billion. Consequently the ruling coalition will continue the talks next week.

Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda was, however, optimistic about reaching a consensus among their partners.

Parliamentary Speaker, Pavol Hrusovsky, warned that if the ruling coalition fails to make fundamental changes to the draft budget, his party will not support it.

The Christian Democrats are asking for more funds for departments led by the KDH ministers, plus they want to increase state aid for families.

ANO wants more money for the health department and the SMK demands more funds for the departments of agriculture and the environment.

SMK boss, Bela Bugar, refused to say how the SMK would proceed if its demands are turned down.

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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