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Budget discussions: Parties fail to reach agreement

A THREE-hour meeting between partners in the ruling coalition was not enough to reach an agreement on next year’s state budget. Parties were in determined mood and unwilling to give way in their demands.

Chairman of the Christian Democratic Union (KDH) Pavol Hrušovský, told the Hospodárske noviny business daily before the meeting of the coalition council that he and his party would not consider compromising their requests.

KDH ministers are requesting almost Sk10 billion (€260 million) more than the sum allocated them by Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš. Most of the money the KDH ministers want would go towards education and policing.

The Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) is also firmly standing its ground. The agriculture ministry, which is controlled by the SMK, has been allocated around Sk6 billion (€155 million), approximately 42 percent of the EU average. Chairman of the SMK Béla Bugár sent a message to Mikloš saying that his party is willing to compromise, but that meant receiving at least 60 percent of the EU average.

Despite the lack of agreement, it is clear that the coalition council does want to reach an agreement.

"After each meeting, we are closer to moving forward," Justice Minister Daniel Lipšic told the daily.

Finance Minister Mikloš echoed this opinion. “I sense the will to find a solution," he said.

Compiled by Magdalena MacLeod from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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