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Parliament approves balanced budget for 2001

Parliament has approved next year's federal budget, which foresees a small surplus of SFr18 million ($10.5 million).

The budget is based on revenue of just under SFr49 billion ($28.5 billion) and spending of almost as much. The figures do not include SFr205 million in revenue from the recent sale of four UMTS mobile phone licences.

After several debates in parliament, the House of Representatives on Wednesday followed the Senate in approving the budget.

The government had envisaged a deficit of less than SFr60 million ($34 million).

The finance ministry warned that the federal finances could drop back into the red in the medium term, if parliament approved extra spending. In 1994, the federal government chalked up a record budget deficit of SFr7 billion.

This year's federal account is forecast to result in a surplus. However, the national debt now stands at around SFr100 billion ($58 billion).

swissinfo with agencies

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