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The President of the Republic met the Minister of Finance

President Arnold Rüütel today at Kadriorg met with the Minister of Finance, Tõnis Palts, and the Secretary General of the Ministry of Finance, Aare Järvan, who briefed the Head of State on the priorities of the supplementary budget for 2003.

According to the Minister of Finance, the top priority in the supplementary budget was education. The project "School of the 21st Century" aimed at doing up and equipping all schools according to contemporary standards. Social sphere, rural life, health, security and culture were priorities as well.

President Rüütel found that the priorities set deserved recognition. The President of the Republic at the same time deemed it important that, by means of the budget, mechanisms were created to improve our demographic situation and standard of education. The Minister of Finance agreed to the opinion of the Head of State that the priorities of the supplementary budget, too, should be put into practice observing the principles of parliamentary democracy and the laws in effect. As to the debate about usage of the last year's extra tax revenue, the Minister of Finance expressed readiness to offer new solutions already in the next days.

During their meeting, Estonia's capability to use resources from the EU structural funds was under discussion as well. According to Tõnis Palts, the problem was not financing but the capability to offer projects and to receive funds. President Rüütel voiced the opinion that regions were ready to implement projects and the point was rather competent expertise.

Office of the President
Kadriorg, May 19, 2003

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