Vol. 1, No. 192, 9 January 1998
SLOVAKIA DECLINES TO RESPOND TO HUNGARIAN
CRITICISM. A Foreign Ministry spokesman on 8 January
said the ministry has decided "not to comment" on the
critical remarks made by Hungarian Foreign Minister Laszlo
Kovacs in Budapest one day earlier, Reuters reported..
Kovacs said that unlike relations with Romania, relations
with Slovakia did not improve in 1997. He said Slovakia has
not gone far enough in meeting the demands of its national
minorities and that, in general, progress in bilateral relations
has been "disappointing." Slovak Foreign Minister Zdenka
Kramplova is due to visit Hungary in January. MS
ALBANIAN REFUGEES DETAINED IN SLOVAKIA. Forty-
seven refugees from Albania were detained in Slovakia after
crossing the border from Hungary in an attempt to reach
West European countries, ITAR-TASS reported on 9 January.
A police officer said the refugees will be deported back to
Hungary, whose authorities will have to decide on their fate.
HUNGARIAN FINANCE MINISTRY RELEASES
MACROECONOMIC INDICATORS. Hungary's GDP grew by
some 4 percent in 1997, while the government budget
deficit reached 4.6 percent of GDP (compared with the
originally planned 4.9 percent), Finance Minister Peter
Medgyessy told Hungarian media on 8 January. According to
the ministry's estimates, inflation was 18.2-18.3 percent
last year, he said. Meanwhile, data released by the
Hungarian National Bank show a drop in the current account
deficit, from $1.177 billion in 1996 to $613 million in
November 1997. The current account even registered a
surplus of $72 million in November, but the current account
deficit for 1997 as a whole is expected to be $1-1.2 billion.
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