Macedonia debating revised budget for 2017 as opposition against it

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-19 00:56:59|Editor: yan
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SKOPJE, July 18 (Xinhua) -- Macedonian parliament has entered a new stalemate as the new government is trying to approve the newly revised budget for 2017 but the opposition is opposed to the changes.

Macedonian Finance Minister Dragan Tevdovski told reporters Tuesday that the revised budget was 47 million euros (54 million U.S. dollars) lower than the initial one while he noted that the biggest cut of seven million euros would be made to Prime Minister Zoran Zaev's cabinet.

He explained that all funds for advertising, campaigns and promotions were also cut, as were those to the civil sector.

"There will be minimum cuts on capital investments, too. With this review, the budget deficit remains the same, or 2.9 percent of GDP (gross domestic product)," Tevdovski told local media.

But the VMRO-DPMNE-led opposition has submitted 706 amendments asking the government not to remove projects which aim to improve living standards in the country.

It is accusing the current government, led by the Social Democratic Union (SDSM), of failing to keep its electoral promises.

"We are worried about the cuts to capital projects and the cuts of funds for education and health care," VMRO-DPMNE lawmaker Ilija Dimovski told local media.

The budget debate has started at the Parliamentary Committee for Finance and Budget.