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Reader feedback: Proper calculations please

Re: EU budget: Slovakia could lose billions, Flash News, June 20, 2005

Mr Németh [director of budgetary relations department in the Slovak Finance Ministry] has spoken and a figure has been mentioned.

However, since many in the EU do not agree, and since no figures have been audited since 2003, the figure Mr Németh mentions can be no more than wishful thinking.

Up until 2004 there was neither room nor reserves for the 10 new EU member countries. Apart from a meagre 1.8 percent (if that) growth in GDP in the old EU15 since then, the EU was counting on extra funds from Britain to the tune of €5.5 billion minus a €1 billion reduction to cater for the to-be-expected objections by Holland and Britain.

Had Mr Juncker [Prime Minister of Luxemburg] gotten his way, there would have been some €7.5 billion net extra after January 1, 2007. If one takes this €7.5 billion and divides that by 75 million (the number of inhabitants in the 10 new EU member states) and multiplies that by 5.4 million (the number of inhabitants of Slovakia), one gets to €540 for Slovakia per annum.

It seems that in Brussels one can buy calculators that double up positive numbers and halve negative ones, but everywhere else, 1+1=2. Supporting Blair in his quest for the CAP [Common Agricultural Policy] to be revised totally may reap a better [EU] harvest for Slovakia after the final round.


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