Czech govt´s statement is ineffective conglomerate - opposition


11.02.2014 14:08

Prague - The Czech government´s plans outlined in its policy statement are a conglomerate of popular measures that will not work effectively together, the right-wing opposition Civic Democrats (ODS) said today.


Volební štáb strany TOP 09 v Praze, druhý den voleb do Poslanecké sněmovny 26. října. Lídr ve Středočeském kraji Miroslav Kalousek. ČTK Krumphanzl Michal

The other opposition party, conservative TOP 09, said the government cannot simultaneously save money and raise expenditures in order to fulfil its priorities in the welfare area.

The new centre-left cabinet of the Social Democrats (CSSD), ANO and the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) has completed its draft policy statement, the text of which CTK has at its disposal.

"Our main objection is that there is a huge contradiction between the ambitions in the area of expenditures and the budget´s possibilities. The government can either implement its policy statement or show budget responsibility. However, it cannot do both at the same time," TOP 09 deputy chairman and former finance minister Miroslav Kalousek told journalists.

ODS chairman Petr Fiala said the government´s policy statement reminds of a situation where a driver simultaneously wants to drive forward and backward and also apply the brake.

The coalition should submit clear plans for how to tackle such phenomena as the rising unemployment, Fiala said.

By raising welfare benefits and the minimum wage and introducing automatic cash registers, the government will not make the admission of a new workforce easier for employers, Fiala said.

Kalousek said the new government owes its birth to the ignoring of the lustration law that bars pre-1989 high-ranking Communists and members of repressive bodies from important posts in the state administration.

Kalousek alluded to Andrej Babis (ANO), the new finance minister who has been labelled as former communist secret police agent, seeks exoneration at Slovak courts, and probably would have problem gaining a negative lustration certificate.

In spite of this, President Milos Zeman appointed him minister.

"If a law is valid, it should be observed," Kalousek said in an allusion to the lustration law.

The policy statement the cabinet is to approve on Wednesday emphasises the economic stability, the effectiveness and transparent character of public health care and social services.

It reckons with a regular indexation of the health insurance the state pays for selected groups of inhabitants and with the abolition of most health fees.

The cabinet also vows to lower the VAT on medicines and strengthen the state´s supervision of the money flowing through the health insurance system.

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