Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis


Communist KSCM Ready to Negotiate Government Formation with Babis

Prague, Feb 19 (CTK) – The new leadership of Czech Social Democrats (CSSD) should consider supporting the efforts to implement a leftist programme and to establish a new government in any form, Communist (KSCM) leader Vojtech Filip said today.


Czech Communists are waiting for the outcome of the talks between new Social Democrat leader Jan Hamacek, Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) and President Milos Zeman about a new government, Filip said.


Babis and Zeman had a dinner on Sunday evening and Filip will visit Zeman on Wednesday afternoon.


Last week, there were talks of expert teams of ANO and KSCM about concrete priorities of the programmes such as the introduction of the sector tax or a system of growth in minimum wages.


KSCM deputy chairman Jiri Dolejs described the meeting as consultations.


“We have established working contacts. Now we are waiting whether the terrain on which will be moving will be delineated by Zeman and party leaders,” Dolejs told CTK.


He said ANO experts had not rejected any of the KSCM’s proposals.


“On the other hand, we did not see quite a positive approach,” Dolejs said.


Filip wrote on the party webpage that the Communists had proposed a 24 percent sector tax (19 percent tax for legal entities plus 5 percent for the financial sector).


“We want to bind the proceeds from the increase part of 5 percent with the National Housing Development Fund,” he added.


He said the KSCM had also proposed an increase in the tax on dividends for non-residents as an instrument with which to regulate the outflow of profits abroad and the growth in the minimum wage as double the increase in he GDP in the next three years.


“All our proposals are consistent with a part of the CSSD. I call on the CSSD to support our efforts and to consider supporting the government in the making in any form,” he added.


The old disputes between the CSSD and the KSCM should be set aside, Filip said.


On Sunday, the Social Democrat congress entrusted Hamacek with government-forming talks with Babis on condition that the government must not rely on the votes of the anti-EU Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD).


The party also called on ANO not to nominate criminally prosecuted persons to the government. This move is aimed against Babis, who was released for prosecution by the Chamber of Deputies over his implication in an EU subsidy fraud.