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Swedish government proposes abolition of budget surplus target STOCKHOLM: Sweden's centre-left government wants to remove the country's budget surplus target and replace it with a balanced budget target to free up money for important investments, the finance minister and the prime minister said on Tuesday.Sweden introduced a budget surplus target of 1 percent over a business cycle in 1997 in the wake of a financial crisis which saw budget deficits and sovereign debt skyrocket. Since then Sweden's national debt has decreased to around 40 percent of GDP from 70 percent.The Social Democrats and the Green Party, which came into power after last year's election, have asked the National Institute for Economic Research to evaluate the consequences of a change to a target of a balanced budget instead."A balanced budget may be more appropriate for Sweden in the future," said Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven and Financial Markets Minister Per Bolund in a signed article in ...

Girlfriend who witnessed Nemtsov murder reaches Kiev MOSCOW: The chief witness in the murder of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov -- a Ukrainian model who was his girlfriend -- arrived in Kiev late Monday, as authorities vowed to solve the most shocking political assassination to take place during Vladimir Putin's rule.Ganna Duritska, who was walking with Nemtsov when he died, arrived safely at Kiev airport, her lawyer Vadim Prokhorov -- who was accompanying her -- told reporters, adding that she needed to ...
Spain's De Guindos says euro zone in talks over 3rd Greek bailout MADRID: Spain's Economy Minister Luis de Guindos on Monday said euro zone countries were in talks over a third bailout package for Greece worth between 30 billion and 50 billion euros ($34-$56 billion). Speaking at an event in Pamplona, in northern Spain, de Guindos said the new rescue plan would give more flexible conditions to Greece, which had no alternative other than European solidarity. Copyright Reuters, 2015 ...
Germany denounces Tsipras attack on Spain and Portugal BERLIN: Germany on Monday angrily denounced Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras for accusing eurozone partners Spain and Portugal of undermining his negotiations with Brussels, saying he had been out of line.The spokesman for German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Tsipras had violated the ground rules of relations among the 19 eurozone countries."In terms of comments this weekend in Athens about Spain and Portugal, I can only say that according to European standards that was a ...
UN watchdog 'seriously' worried by North Korea nuclear programme VIENNA: The head of the UN nuclear watchdog said Monday he is "seriously" worried about the North Korean nuclear programme, which has not been subject to international inspections since 2009. "I remain seriously concerned about the nuclear programme of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)," said Yukiya Amano, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency. "It is nearly six years since agency inspectors were asked to leave the DPRK," he noted in remarks to ...
German ex-MP makes payment to end 'child porn' trial BERLIN: A German former lawmaker Monday agreed to pay 5,000 euros ($5,600) and admit guilt on child pornography charges in exchange for a court halting his high-profile trial.The case against Sebastian Edathy, formerly a high-flying MP known for fighting far-right extremists, had triggered a major political scandal that led to the resignation of a cabinet minister.Edathy, 45, admitted to the charges through a statement read out by his lawyer and expressed regret, paving the way ...
Russian Finance Ministry ups 2015 budget deficit forecast to 3.8 pc/GDP MOSCOW: Russia's Finance Ministry has increased its forecast for the country's 2015 budget deficit to 3.8 percent of gross domestic product, a document seen by Reuters showed. The document also showed that the ministry sees the average rouble exchange rate at 61.5 roubles per dollar for 2015, in line with Economy Ministry forecasts. On Friday, the Finance Ministry said it projected a budget deficit of 3.7 percent of GDP this year - a large increase ...


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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.703 bln
Exports $2.156 bln
Imports $3.859 bln
WeeklyFebruary 26, 2015
Reserves $15.944 bln