April 9, 2019 / 10:21 AM / 5 months ago

Slovak ruling party's Kamenicky to become new finance minister

BRATISLAVA (Reuters) - The leader of Slovakia’s ruling party said on Tuesday he would nominate the head of parliament’s budget committee Ladislav Kamenicky as finance minister, to replace Peter Kazimir who is leaving to become head of the central bank.

Smer leader Robert Fico told reporters that Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini will temporarily head the ministry until Kamenicky is appointed, probably later this month.

Kazimir, who will join the Slovak central bank in June and in that capacity represent the euro zone country at the European Central Bank, is due to resign on Thursday.

Kamenicky, 48, a member of Smer’s leadership, studied at the Bratislava University of Economics, specializing in trade.

He will take over at the ministry just as the coalition government is considering abandoning its plan to run a small budget surplus next year in favor of higher spending and cuts to corporate taxes ahead of a spring 2020 general election.

Fico said earlier this month the plans include extending maternity leave to 52 weeks from 34 weeks and reducing the corporate tax rate to 15 percent from 21 percent.

Slovakia aims to balance its budget this year for the first time even though the central bank expects economic growth to slow to 3.5 percent from 4.1 percent last year and to 3.4 percent in 2020.

Reporting By Tatiana Jancarikova; Editing by Catherine Evans

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