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Czech Republic: Cabinet Approves Balanced Budget

Prague, 26 September 1997 (RFE/RL) - The Czech government yesterday unanimously agreed on a final version of a balanced budget for next year.

The $16.2 billion budget reduces outlays as a share of GDP by 5.5%. The new budget foresees a $36.2 million boost in revenue by increasing the tax on cigarettes. The cabinet reduced outlays by $33.2 million, mainly in the area of agriculture and pensions.

Funding from the EU's PHARE program is saving the budget $12 million in outlays for removal of damage from July floods. The opposition Social Democrats (CSSD) and Communists (KSCM) have already vowed to vote against the budget in parliament.