Coalition partners agree on government programme statement

After almost eight hours, the leaders of the coalition parties, Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), Freedom and Solidarity (SaS), the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) and Most-Hid wrapped up their talks on the government program statement on July 28 morning. The partners reached agreement on all areas of the programme.

After almost eight hours, the leaders of the coalition parties, Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), Freedom and Solidarity (SaS), the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) and Most-Hid wrapped up their talks on the government program statement on July 28 morning. The partners reached agreement on all areas of the programme.

Prime Minister Iveta Radičová has said that the final version will include changes, some of them quite significant when compared to the working version, TASR newswire reported. The most intense debate concerned the healthcare sector while other intensely debated areas were the agendas of the Education, Interior and Transport Ministries.
Radičová has confirmed that her cabinet will not harmonise VAT rates thus medicaments, books and agricultural products sold directly to the public will keep their lower VAT rates. At the same time, the ratios of contributions to insurers between the first and second (private) pillar of the pension system won't be amended, TASR wrote.

"On the contrary, we'll submit a law concerning the stabilisation of the second pillar," she said, adding that the age of retirement will remain at 62 years.

According to Radičová, the new government is not preparing to privatise strategic enterprises, although the cabinet will open up the Bratislava Airport and the state-run railway cargo company Cargo to foreign investors.

By 2014, Bratislava and Kosice should be connected with a high-quality road link, although this won't necessarily be all motorway.

"It isn't realistic," said Radičová, adding that the financing of road infrastructure will come from a combination of EU funds, public-private partnership (PPP) projects and means from the second pension pillar, wrote TASR.

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