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Slovakia’s proposed budget is approved by parliament

Parliament on November 4 approved the state budget for 2010 with the aim to cut the public-finance deficit from this year's 6.3 percent to 5.5 percent of GDP next year, the TASR newswire wrote.

Parliament on November 4 approved the state budget for 2010 with the aim to cut the public-finance deficit from this year's 6.3 percent to 5.5 percent of GDP next year, the TASR newswire wrote.

The government's proposed budget, with minor changes, was backed by 83 out of the 139 MPs present. All opposition legislators voted against the proposal apart from Slovak Christian and Democratic Union (SDKÚ) party MP Tomaáš Galbavý, who abstained from the vote. Most independent MPs were also against the draft, with František Mikloško and Peter Gabura abstaining. Tibor Mikusš (formerly Movement for Democratic Slovakia, HZDS) was the only breakaway MP to back the budget, TASR wrote.

The approved budget presents a deficit of €3.75 billion in 2010, with expected state revenues at €12.35 billion and expenditures at €16.28 billion. Compared to 2009, the expenditures of three ministries are set to be higher in 2010: the Health Ministry, the Labour Ministry and the Education Ministry.

Austerity measures will be applied most severely at the Transport, Posts and Telecommunications Ministry and the Interior Ministry's budget will be also lower in 2010.

Minor changes proposed have been made in budgets for the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAV), the cultural organisation Matica Slovenska and the Industrial Property Office (UPV) – they will receive extra resources. Parliament rejected all amending proposals submitted by opposition MPs aimed at increasing funds destined for local administrations in order to make up for drops in their incomes. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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