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Govt meets for two-day session to fill budget gap

Filling a HUF 100 billion gap in next year's budget, analysing the effect of the global crisis on the Hungarian economy and restructuring the higher education system are some of the issues the government will discuss at a two-day meeting in Lovasbereny, near Budapest, on Monday and Tuesday, spokesman for the prime minister Peter Szijjarto said in an interview with public radio 1 early Monday.

Government officials said earlier the government would meet to on Monday and Tuesday to fill a HUF 100 billion "hole" in the 2012 budget resulting from slower economic growth. They said the government was likely to take a decision on 8-10 smaller measures rather than a single big one.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Thursday that the government could raises taxes on cigarettes, alcohol and lottery tickets.

The government will discuss the effects on Hungary of the sovereign debt crisis in the eurozone and measures to buffer against these effects,  Szijjarto said. The restructuring of large sectors, including the restructuring of the higher education system, are also on the agenda, he added.

Asked about the possible introduction of a solidarity tax that would be levied on the rich,  Szijjarto reiterated the government's stand on keeping a proportional tax system.

The government introduced a flat-rate personal income tax regime this year.

 Szijjarto said the government would also review programs already launched, such as the Szell Kalman Plan, a structuring reform program launched in March.