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IN SHORT

EU reluctant to free money for flats

DESPITE Slovak appeals, the EU does not envisage funds for the renovation of state- and privately-owned apartment blocks in its new 2007-2013 draft budget, according to the Hospodárske noviny business daily.

The EU is rejecting calls for changes to be made in this area, saying that public resources can be allocated for housing only in the event of a natural disaster or serious market imbalances.

Slovakia and the Czech Republic, however, will continue in their efforts to obtain EU funding to renovate their apartment blocks. "We will re-open the renovation issue. We will be looking into ways of co-financing such renovation via structural funds," said Slovak Construction Minister László Gyurovszky.

Some Sk400 billion (€10.24 billion) is required for the renovation of Slovak apartment blocks. It is estimated that the work will take several decades to complete at the current rate.

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