THE LEADERS of the three ruling coalition parties have agreed with Finance Minister Ján Počiatek on the draft state budget for 2009, the SITA newswire wrote. The chairmen of Smer, the Slovak National Party (SNS) and the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) met informally in Trenčianske Teplice on September 9.
"The party chairmen agreed on the most important law of next year," said Slovak National Party (SNS) chairman Ján Slota. “After an hour of discussions we reached conclusions that should be implemented by the finance minister. The meeting was very friendly. We agreed to make some compromises.”
The SNS did not achieve the budget increases for ministries headed by its nominees it had originally demanded. But extra sums were allocated: around Sk2 billion (€66.39 million) for the Education Ministry, around Sk2 billion (€66.39 billion) for the Environment Ministry, and Sk1 billion (€33.19 million) for the Construction and Regional Development Ministry. The leaders also agreed to increase the budget of the Justice and Agriculture Ministries, which are headed by HZDS nominees.
In the middle of August, the Finance Ministry submitted a state budget draft, which anticipates a general government deficit of 1.7 percent of GDP next year. The projected deficit amounts to €497.221 million (Sk14.98 billion). This would mean a decrease of more than 53 percent decrease compared to 2008; the overall deficit for this year is expected to be Sk31.981 billion (€1.062 billion). Compared to 2008, 2009 revenues are expected to be higher by 12.7 percent, at €13.029 billion (Sk392.5 billion). Expenditure is planned to grow 7.2 percent, to €13.526 billion (Sk407.5 billion).
15. Sep 2008 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports