Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Communists may back ANO gov't if programme talks are success

ČTK |
24 January 2018

Prague, Jan 23 (CTK) - The Czech Communists (KSCM) plan further programme negotiations with ANO and they might actively support an expected cabinet of ANO if the negotiations were a success, KSCM chairman Vojtech Filip told a press conference after ANO-KSCM talks on Tuesday.

He said the two parties will form teams of experts to discuss their programme compatibility in various areas.

The KSCM and ANO are close to agreement on issues such as social housing, and negotiations have also progressed on the raw materials policy and the minimum wage growth, Filip said.

ANO deputy chairman and a deputy PM in the outgoing minority cabinet, Richard Brabec, said ANO and the KSCM's stances on the adoption of the euro and the indexation of pensions are also close to each other.

Filip reiterated that the KSCM might tolerate an ANO cabinet at the most. "We would not enter the cabinet as our foreign political stances profoundly differ [from ANO's]," he said.

The KSCM does not see prosecution the ANO leader and probable next PM Andrej Babis faces over a suspected EU subsidy fraud a problem.

"We stick to the principle of the presumption of innocence," Filip said, adding that the KSCM considers Babis innocent unless he is convicted.

Filip said the two parties' negotiators made progress in seeking consensus on the raw materials policy.

"We have also included the question of water sources protection and the use of water," he said.

A consensus is also close on the question of social housing projects and negotiations on a possible taxation of the church restitution will continue, he said.

KSCM deputy head Jiri Dolejs said the KSCM appreciating it that ANO did not reject its proposals to tax church restitution and draft a referendum law on Tuesday.

Brabec told reporters that ANO has established expert teams to negotiate with their opposite numbers from the KSCM, SPD and the Social Democratic Party (CSSD) because these parties have shown interest in it.

He said ANO will discuss programme compatibility with these parties to find out what programme goals they have in common and might jointly promote.

ANO launched new negotiations with other parties in parliament last week, after its minority government, headed by ANO chairman Andrej Babis, failed to win the Chamber of Deputies' confidence and was forced to resign.

President Milos Zeman has repeatedly said he will assign the second government-forming attempt to Babis as well.

To date, ANO negotiators met representatives of the Social Democrats (CSSD), the Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) movement and the KSCM.

They are scheduled to meet the Civic Democrats (ODS) and the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) on Wednesday.

ANO wants to close the current round of negotiations by the end of next week and to decide on what to do next, Brabec said on Tuesday.

Last week, the CSSD submitted to ANO its programme demands on the fulfilment of which it might join or tolerate an ANO government, such as the country's pro-European path, its fulfilment of commitments in NATO and support for young families and seniors.

Furthermore, the CSSD would not join a government including a prosecuted person.

Babis and ANO deputy chairman Jaroslav Faltynek face criminal prosecution for a suspected EU subsidy fraud. Babis heads the outgoing government and ANO insists on his forming a second government.

The SPD movement discussed programme priorities at a meeting with ANO last week. The SPD demands the introduction of material responsibility of politicians, a general referendum law including a chance of voting on Czexit and a zero toleration of illegal migration.

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