Zeman discusses budget with finance, transport ministers


14.06.2014 19:15

Lany - Czech President Milos Zeman and his expert team discussed the draft 2015 state budget and the planned rise in investments with the finance and transport ministers, Andrej Babis and Antonin Prachar (both ANO), today, Zeman´s spokesman Jiri Ovcacek has said.


Prezident Miloš Zeman vystoupil 11. dubna na Pražském hradě na konferenci Česko očima Evropy, Evropa očima Česka, která se uskutečnila k 10. výročí vstupu České republiky do Evropské unie. ČTK Vondrouš Roman

The meeting held at the presidential summer residence in Lany chateau was friendly, both ministers said.

Babis highlighted that they agreed with the president on the necessity of investments.

The government coalition of the Social Democrats (CSSD), ANO and Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) has not yet reached agreement on the final version of the 2015 budget.

The cabinet has approved only expenditure frameworks so far.

"The president considers investments a significant tool in the fight against unemployment," Ovcacek wrote to CTK.

Babis presented the draft 2015 budget to Zeman at the meeting.

Afterwards, Babis told public Czech Television (CT) that Zeman´s team included former PM Jiri Rusnok, current member of the CNB central bank´s council, former justice minister Marie Benesova, Confederation of Industry President Jaroslav Hanak and former umbrella trade unions´ head Jaroslav Zavadil.

Babis said he had reached consensus with Zeman in most issues.

"We only have a different opinion on the euro. I think that our country is not prepared for the euro. He [Zeman] has negatively assessed the transparency of health care and science and research, through which about 26 billion crowns flows," Babis said.

He added that they had primarily discussed investments.

"We must remove the main obstacles, that is to improve the public procurement law, to be able to invest quickly," Babis noted.

"There is enough money for investments," he told CT, adding that the problem rather is that investments are not prepared.

Zeman said during his visit to the Liberec Region, north Bohemia, on Wednesday, he and Babis had agreed that the state's investments must be enhanced to achieve economic growth.

They will keep discussing it and present results of their talks publicly on Tuesday.

Transport construction projects are of a key importance in terms of investments, Zeman said.

This is why he invited Prachar to the meeting in Lany.

Zeman called the completion of key infrastructure priority, in particular the D8 and D11 motorways.

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (CSSD) told reporters today that the government should financially support the transport projects prepared for construction.

The government approved higher expenditure frameworks in late May. In 2015, they should rise by 16 billion crowns from the previously approved 1153 billion. The 2015 budget deficit is projected at 100 billion crowns.

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