(AFP) – Sep 22, 2010
PRAGUE — The centre-right Czech government Thursday adopted a belt-tightening budget for next year limiting the public finance deficit to 4.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).
"The government has adopted a budget plan for 2011 with a deficit of 135 billion koruny (5.5 billion euros/ 7.3 billion dollars). The public finance deficit will not cross 4.6 percent of GDP in 2011," Prime Minister Petr Necas told reporters.
He said the targeted deficit would be 3.5 percent of GDP in 2012 and 2.9 percent in 2013.
This year's plan is more ambitious that the 4.8 percent of GDP target set by the European Union for the country, which joined the bloc in 2004, but higher that the three percent set for eurozone members.
On Tuesday, about 40,000 soldiers, policemen, doctors and other professionals protested in Prague against proposals to slash government spending by 10 percent to prevent the country from falling deeper into debt.
The new budget will slash their salaries by up to 43 percent.
The budget is due to be passed in December. The country's public deficit is expected to rise to 5.3 percent of GDP this year.
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