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May 1, 2018 12:00 am | FILED UNDER: politics

Babis To Resume Government Talks With Social Democrats

By ČTK Andrej Babis and Milos Zeman

Prague, May 1 (CTK) – The national committee of Prime Minister Andrej Babis’s ANO backed further talks about a government with Czech Social Democrats (CSSD) today, ANO deputy chairman Jaroslav Faltynek has told the Nova commercial television station.

 

The coalition pact may be finished by the end of the week, Faltynek said.

 

Faltynek said it should be ironed out by ANO deputy chairman Richard Brabec and Social Democrat deputy chairman Jiri Zimola by Friday.

 

“By the end of the week, we should iron out the coalition agreement in which we will take into account the Social Democrats’ demands,” he added.

 

Brabec and Zimola are also supposed to agree on the government manifesto by Friday.

 

“The Social Democrats would like to have a final version by May 11,” Brabec said.

 

The coalition pact will have about three pages, but the government manifesto about 50 pages, Brabec said.

 

On Wednesday, there will be a meeting of the two parties’ deputy chairpersons and on Friday that of Babis and Social Democrat leader Jan Hamacek.

 

Faltynek said it was a success that the Social Democrats had been convinced that they should not raise taxes.

 

The money on the planned projects such as rises in pensions and teachers’ salaries is to be gained by a better collection of taxes.

 

Faltynek said the ANO deputy group was to express its position on the outcome of the talks “because just the deputies will vote on the confidence in the government.”

 

“By that time, we need to have cleared up all the things relating to the coalition pact,” Faltynek said.

 

The committee will also be informed on the conditions presented by the Communists who are supposed to tolerate the government of ANO and the CSSD.

 

Faltynek confirmed that the Social Democrats might become the ministers of interior, agriculture, labour and social affairs, culture and foreign affairs, which they preferred to the Defence Ministry.

 

However, the Social Democrats also demand that Babis resigned if he were convicted. Babis is now facing criminal charges over an EU subsidy fraud.

 

The Social Democrats also want the rest of the government to resign if the Social Democrats ministers stepped down.

 

The Social Democrats insist on representatives of the anti-EU Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) being dismissed from senior posts in the Chamber of Deputies.

 

So far, ANO has dismissed the demands.

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