Social Democrats, ANO dropping principles - Czech opposition


21.07.2014 13:12

Prague - The governing Social Democrats (CSSD) and ANO dropped their principles when choosing Local Development Minister Vera Jourova (ANO) as Czech European commissioner, the opposition TOP 09 leader Karel Schwarzenberg told journalists today.


Předseda TOP 09 Karel Schwarzenberg. ČTK Doležal Michal

Earlier today, the government council, grouping the CSSD, ANO and Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), decided to propose Jourova for the post.

Petr Fiala, leader of the opposition Civic Democratic Party (ODS), said it had turned out again that ANO leader, Finance Minister Andrej Babis, had the main say in the coalition.

South Moravia Regional Governor Michal Hasek, an intra-party opponent of Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (CSSD), said it was good that the Social Democrats had preferred the national interests to insisting on their own candidate, economist Pavel Mertlik.

"It is a solution typical of the coalition," Schwarzenberg said.

The CSSD withdrew from the idea that as the strongest coalition government party it should have the right to nominate its candidate, while Babis forgot to heed the principle, Schwarzenberg said.

In exchange for the nomination, Social Democrats want to increase the budget for social services and the minimum wage.

Compared with other candidates, Jourova is a quite good solution, Schwarzenberg said.

Obviously, the Czech side is acting in harmony with the Brussels demand that a woman should be the candidate, he added.

"Sobotka has evidently complied with the order of Jean-Claude Juncker that, first, a woman should be offered, and, second, it should be someone backed by the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE)," TOP 09 deputy chairman Miroslav Kalousek said.

With "its weakness and indecision" the government has not prepared the best initial conditions for Jourova, Fiala said.

Communist (KSCM) leader Vojtech Filip said agreement in the coalition had been formed with difficulties, while no one had consulted the opposition.

"We are glad that this time we are sending a real expert to the European Commission, no protege such as former prime minister Vladimir Spidla," Tomio Okamura, head of the Dawn movement, told journalists.

Kalousek and head of the ODS deputy group Zbynek Stanjura said Jourova's choice was Sobotka's loss.

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