Tuesday, 12 December 2017

ODS eyeing two-digit result in forthcoming election

ČTK |
6 October 2017

Prague, Oct 5 (CTK) - The Czech Civic Democratic Party (ODS) wants to achieve a two-digit result in the forthcoming, late October election to the Czech Chamber of Deputies, ODS leader Petr Fiala told CTK on Thursday.

The party's campaign shows a change in the perception of the ODS as against the elections four years ago and a shift compared to the regional election last year, FIala said.

"I make it no secret that I would like to achieve a two-digit result. This can be scored and it would clearly confirm that the ODS is going upwards," Fiala said.

After taking part in most governments in the postcommunist era, the ODS scored its worst result, a mere 7.7 percent, four years ago.

Fiala became the party leader in January 2014.

"At that time, the ODS was at the rock bottom, after a tremendous crisis. It was a party to which many presaged an early death. Now the situation is quite different," Fiala said.

"We are one of the few parties whose preference have risen as against the previous election. We are a party which, as everyone can see, has recovered from the problems it faced," he added.

According to the latest polls, the ODS voter preferences have reached around 10 percent.

Fiala said he wanted the ODS to gain the strength to implement promised changes.

In spring, the ODS passed a programme of 190 concrete steps it wants to take if it is in the government such as the lowering and simplification of taxes, changes in the education and construction of roads.

Fiala said the twelve conditions for the talks on a possible government collaboration with other parties after the October election, which the party published in August, gave enough space for an agreement.

The "Vysehrad Declaration" is not a condition for negotiations, but a promise to voters what the ODS will not drop, he added.

Fiala said the parties of the current coalition government were unable to make the most of the economic growth.

There were only small investments in the military, while the construction of motorways is slow, he added.

The Czech Republic must take an active part in the EU reform and main parties should agree on a joint interest they will try to implement in the reform, Fiala said.

He said there should be talks on the exception from the compulsory introduction of the euro.

The Czech Republic should only accept the euro if it is economically beneficial to it, which is not the case now, Fiala said.

There is a consensus in the EU that a reform is needed, he added.

"Now it should be decided how the reform should look. I want the Czech Republic to be in the reform effort, to be active," Fiala said.

"The decision should not only be made in Berlin or Paris, while we would have to wait for the results," he added.

"We do not refuse the euro a priori. We want people to decide themselves, we want the Czech Republic itself to decide on whether to accept the euro," Fiala said.

The euro zone now looks different than in 2004 when the Czech Republic joined the EU and pledged to accept the joint current, he added.

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