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MPs continue debating 2012 state budget

If the ongoing parliamentary debate on the draft state budget for 2012 ends before 17:00 on Wednesday, December 7, MPs will vote on it on the same day, Speaker of Parliament Pavol Hrušovský said, as reported by the TASR newswire. He announced that representatives of the parliamentary parties had agreed to such a vote.

If the ongoing parliamentary debate on the draft state budget for 2012 ends before 17:00 on Wednesday, December 7, MPs will vote on it on the same day, Speaker of Parliament Pavol Hrušovský said, as reported by the TASR newswire. He announced that representatives of the parliamentary parties had agreed to such a vote.

The debate on the state budget in parliament has now been continuing for two days, and it is not clear whether it will be concluded any time soon, as 33 more deputies, in particular from the opposition Smer party, still want to address the chamber.

The updated draft budget for the next year projects the 2012 budget deficit as being 4.6 percent of GDP, up from the previous target of 3.8 percent, the SITA newswire wrote. Behind the increase in the deficit are revised estimates for growth in the Slovak economy for next year. According to the Finance Ministry's prognoses, the economy will grow by only 1.7 percent of GDP in 2012 – and analysts say even this figure is too optimistic. On Wednesday, deputies should also elect a new ombudsman and the chairperson and deputy-chairperson of the Supreme Audit Office. Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) deputy Jana Dubovcová was nominated for the post of ombudsman, while her party colleague Zora Dobríková should be re-elected to the post of deputy chairperson of the Supreme Audit Office. No-one showed an interest in running for the post of head of the Supreme Audit Office.

The opposition Slovak National Party (SNS) says its MPs will either abstain or vote against the 2012 state budget proposal. "It's up to every [SNS] lawmaker to choose between these two options," SNS chairman Ján Slota said on Tuesday, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

Sources: TASR, SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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