EU enlargement commissioner Guenter Verheugen and Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kavan agreed in Brussels on Friday's meeting that Benes decrees are not and will not be a subject of the Czech-EU accession talks and the current uproar around them must be calmed down.
State budget deficit totaled CZK 24.9n at the end of February. Budget revenues amounted to CZK 89.27bn, while expenditures reached CZK 114.20bn. A half of the current deficit was created by a payment of the part of the Konsolidacni banka loss from 1999 (CZK 6bn was paid in January, CZK 6.1bn in February). However, the deficit widening can be also ascribed to a worse than expected tax collection, namely value added tax and corporate profit tax.
The Ministry of Finance will issue state bonds worth CZK 20bn in the second quarter of 2002 by reopening issues of three-, ten-, and fifteen-year bonds. State bond issues raise the Czech Republic's state debt, which added CZK 55.8bn year-on-year to CZK 345.1bn in 2001.
The Czech Republic will ask EU for a three year of a transitory period for a harmonization of hygienic directives. A preparation of the list of demanded exemptions took a longer time than Ministry of agriculture expected, and this part of can not be negotiated in March as it was planned.
The U.S. economy grew at a 1.4% pace between October and December 2001, after shrinking at a 1.3% rate in the previous quarter, according to revised figures released on Friday.
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