Social Democrats Seek Larger Role In PM Babis’s Government: Require At Least 5 MinistersČTK
Trest, South Moravia, March 24 (CTK) – The Czech Social Democrats (CSSD) should push through tax changes during the talks with the ANO movement on a new government, in which the CSSD should have five ministers, the “Save the CSSD” group said in a press release after its meeting today.
The group of critics of the former party leadership pushes for progressive and sector taxes as well as a lower VAT rate on basic food and on water and sewerage rates.
The group, comprised of CSSD new first deputy chairman Jiri Zimola, MP Jaroslav Foldyna and former South Moravia regional governor Michal Hasek, has supported the CSSD’s new leadership in the talks on the party’s participation in a new government, but “on condition the CSSD pushes through its programme priorities and has a dignified representation in the cabinet.”
In harmony with the statement by new CSSD chairman Jan Hamacek, the group wants the CSSD to have at least five ministers in Babis’s new government.
The ANO leaders have unofficially offered four ministerial seats to the CSSD. ANO also refuses to raise taxes.
However, the Communists (KSCM), who might tolerate a minority cabinet of ANO and the CSSD, also call for tax changes.
The “Save the CSSD” group wants the CSSD congress on April 7 to agree that the CSSD lawmakers, except for Hamacek, would not be nominated for the new cabinet.
Hamacek previously said the CSSD MPs should not be in the government. The party congress should also ask the deputy group to respect the results of the party’s internal referendum on the CSSD’entry into Babis’s cabinet.
As far as the programme priorities are concerned, along with tax changes, the CSSD group demands that the first three days of sickness be paid. It also wants to introduce a long-term funding of social services, not to raise patients’ financial participation in healthcare and secure money to launch the approved reform of regional schools coverage. It rejects the proposal for lowering the share of tax revenues for municipalities and regions and plans to complete the church property restitution.