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Assistant Finance Minister and Chief State Treasurer Miljenko Ficor said on Thursday that the budget deficit was as planned and that by the end of the year it could be lower than expected.

On October 31 the gap was HRK 7.9 billion, which is 61.7% of the planned amount, and if the current situation regarding budget revenues and expenditure continues - and there is no reason why it should not - the budget deficit at the end of the year will be much lower than planned, Ficor told reporters at a conference on insurance in Opatija.

"If we deduct from the deficit the 9.3 billion kuna we paid in interest in the first nine months, we have a primary surplus," said Ficor, adding that "maybe the new or the re-elected treasurer will be able to boast after four years in office that we have a real primary surplus."

Speaking about budget liabilities, Ficor said that after four years in office, he was most satisfied that the state had stopped defaulting on its financial obligations.

He said that the state treasury was meeting its obligations within set deadlines. Every month, a plan for the payment of allowances to pensioners, war veterans and the jobless is published and it never happened that those allowances were not paid as planned, said Ficor.

He said that it had been a common practice on the 10th day of a month, when pensions are paid out, to take a bank loan for the amount that was lacking. Since February this year, bank loans are no longer used for that purpose, he said.

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