Saturday, 15 December 2018

KSČM leader: Zeman wants cabinet with confidence by summer

22 February 2018

Prague, Feb 21 (CTK) - President Milos Zeman would like the new government to gain confidence in the Chamber of Deputies before the summer holidays, Communist (KSCM) leader Vojtech Filip told journalists after meeting Zeman on Wednesday.

Filip also said he had informed Zeman about the ongoing talks about the support for Prime Minister Andrej Babis's second government (ANO).

He stressed that in some points the negotiations had not much advanced.

The differing views of foreign policy are the most disputed question, Filip said, adding that Zeman had not given any advice on how Communists should proceed.

Zeman said he wanted to give the advice at the Communists' April congress where he would deliver a speech, Filip said.

Zeman will arrive in the congress in Nymburk, central Bohemia, on April 21.

Zeman took interest in the progress of the talks and the views held by the Communists. "We have to put it clearly that not all things have been settled by the talks," Filip said.

There is some progress in the questions of rise in the minimum wage and indexation of pensions.

"We have not arrived at a consensus in the question of the tax system," Filip said, adding that no progress had also been made in the sphere of foreign priorities.

"Zeman did not make any pressure, letting the options of the negotiations fully up to the parties," Filip said.

However, Zeman wants parties to be active and the nation to have a government with confidence by the summer, he added.

Tomio Okamura, leader of the anti-EU Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) met Zeman after Filip.

He, too, said, that Zeman would like to have the government with confidence before the summer holiday.

"We think that this may be even sooner. Prime Minister Andrej Babis already has the 101 votes in the Chamber of Deputies," Okamura said.

The next development will depend on how much Babis will be ready to seek compromises with other parties, he added.

In the past weeks, ANO was conducting talks on the government programme with the SPD, but Babis repeatedly said he preferred cooperation with other parties.

ANO is reluctant to accept the SPD proposal that referendums on foreign affairs, including the departure from the EU, might be enacted.

Okamura said in the vote of confidence in Babis's government the SPD deputies would certainly not walk out of the room.

They are ready to support the government, provided ANO promises that it will fulfil the SPD's programme.

ANO has 78 MPs in the 200-seat Chamber of Deputies. The Communists have 15 and the SPD 22.

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