Prague - The Czech senior ruling Social Democrats (CSSD) are prepared to back up Local Development Minister Vera Jourova, their coalition partner ANO´s candidate for EU commissioner, in exchange for support to some CSSD programme priorities, sources close to the PM told CTK today.
Zleva místopředseda vlády pro ekonomiku a ministr financí Andrej Babiš a předseda vlády Bohuslav Sobotka před jednáním vlády, která zasedala 9. dubna v Praze. ČTK Krumphanzl Michal
Prime Minister and CSSD chairman Bohuslav Sobotka might meet ANO chairman Andrej Babis (deputy PM and finance minister) to discuss the selection of European commissioner before the Monday meeting of the coalition council, comprising also the smallest government party, the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL).
The Social Democrats might be willing to nod ANO´s candidate if ANO supported some of their priorities, such as the rise in minimum wage by more than 500 crowns as of next year and a steeper rise in firefighters and policemen´s salaries.
The government is to debate the nominations for Czech EU commissioner on Monday.
If Sobotka agreed on it with Babis, the former would avoid a further delay in the debate about the Czech candidate in the EC that could considerably weaken the Czech Republic´s position in the talks about a particular portfolio with new EC President Jean-Claude Juncker.
This is why the government coalition should be clear about its candidate for EU commissioner after the Monday meeting.
If the coalition council approves Jourova´s candidacy, the government will discuss it on the same day.
Jourova will then attend a hearing in the lower house´s committee for European affairs before the government definitively confirms her candidacy.
She should be replaced by her current deputy for European programmes Klara Dostalova at the ministry´s helm, according to information from the CSSD.
Speculations emerged in the past that the CSSD might exchange its support to Jourova for a chance of filling the significant post of the civil service general director, possibly with ex-PM and former EU commissioner Vladimir Spidla. However, this version does not seem probably and asked by CTK, Spidla clearly rejected the speculation.