Prime Minister Robert Fico and representatives of the Association of Slovak Towns and Villages (ZMOS) on Thursday, October 18, signed a memorandum in which local authorities pledged to run their offices in a responsible manner and create financial reserves, the TASR newswire learnt. The agreement is aimed at helping cut Slovakia's public finance deficit to below 3 percent of GDP in 2013.
Fico emphasised that the cabinet does not want to take money away from local authorities but does want them to create financial reserves. The measures apply only to towns with a population of at least 2,000. Smaller towns and villages will not have to resort to cuts, as they have only been asked to maintain the status quo in order to comply with the government-approved budget for 2013-15.
ZMOS, which okayed the text of the document on Wednesday, stated that by signing the memorandum, local authorities have shown that they want to accept responsibility for healthy public finances and to help lower the 2013 state budget deficit. According to ZMOS chairman Jozef Dvonč, there are disputes within the association when it comes to cuts, with three regional organisations demanding an extraordinary session of the association. Dvonč added that if one-third of local associations call for such a session, the head organisation will hold one.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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