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Budget Deferred to October, Spending Cuts on the Horizon

Ljubljana, 20 September (STA) - The government was expected to adopt the 2013 budget Thursday, but it decided to postpone the decision by two weeks. Finance Minister Janez Šušteršič said after the all-day cabinet session that Slovenia would $honour its commitments$, suggesting that the planned deficit would be below 3% of GDP as planned.

This will be achieved with structural measures to cut spending, foremost pension reform and "adjustment of the public sector to actual economic capabilities," according to Šušteršič.

Media reports suggest the government plans to cut up to 20,000 public sector jobs, including 600 in the police force alone, but Šušteršič refused to delve into the details.

Budgeting is based on forecasts by the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development (IMAD), a government think-tank. The minister said the forecast, which will be presented tomorrow, was "not bleak, it is realistic".

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