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EU budget: Slovakia could lose billions

SLOVAKIA could be deprived of billions of euros from European funds due to the collapse of the EU budget negotiations for 2007 to 2013, the Hospodárske noviny business daily reported.

The budgetary plan that the EU failed to agree in Brussels provided that more than a third of the finance would go to helping poorer countries and regions.

If agreed upon the new seven-year budget would bring Slovakia net incomes of more than €8.5 billion. This is significantly more than it receives at the moment.

"For Slovakia, any agreement would be better than disagreement," Albert Németh, director of budgetary relations department in the Slovak Finance Ministry, told the daily.

If the EU member states do not agree on a budget this year, then the 2007 budget is likely to be only provisory. In that case Slovakia would get three times as little money than if the new plan was approved, since the money would be allocated to the existing rules.

Compiled by Marta Ďurianová from press reports
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