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Fico: Approved budget is social, developing and pro-European

The state budget for 2009, which was approved by the government on October 15, is social, developing and pro-European, and envisages the lowest deficit in Slovakia's history at 1.7 percent of GDP, said Prime Minister Robert Fico after the government session that day.

The state budget for 2009, which was approved by the government on October 15, is social, developing and pro-European, and envisages the lowest deficit in Slovakia's history at 1.7 percent of GDP, said Prime Minister Robert Fico after the government session that day.

Fico doesn't expect the approved deficit to be exceeded.

"We don't see any reason for this. A real crisis would be required to change its level. We're sticking to a deficit of 1.7 percent," he emphasised.

The projected public-finance deficit in 2009 is €886.7 million (Sk26.71 billion). Total revenues should reach €13.22 billion (Sk398.7 billion), while expenditures are expected to amount to €14.109 billion (Sk425.05 billion). Direct payments in agriculture will reach the maximum-possible level - 90 percent of the average for the EU15.

According to Fico, the social character of the budget is demonstrated by increases in financial resources for the Labour, Social Affairs and the Family Ministry by almost 8 percent. Moreover, higher expenditures on education, science and research are designed to ensure the long-term development of Slovakia.

According to Finance Minister Ján Počiatek, the Education Ministry will receive 17.8 percent more money than last year. Public resources for the Health Ministry will rise by 15.8 percent, while expenditures on transport will increase by 21 percent. The Environment Ministry will be given an extra 16 percent year-to-year. Housing and regional development will see 4.6 percent growth in resources, but this area was already supported significantly last year, Počiatek added. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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