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Bojicat
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« Reply #25 on: February 05, 2018, 06:08:11 pm »

Beginning to re-think my 2018 BABIS-coalition prognosis.

The SPD and the Communists were itching to join in his first short-lived attempt. Bringing in the Communists, he probably feared, would swell up the Babis-is-a-crypto-Communist/KGB-agent smear and hurt his long-term chances. Adding in the SPD would cement allegations that he loathes the idea of admitting ANY immigrants from East or South of the Dardanelles. Asking in the Pirates, would generate a 24-hour world-wide laugh-in, we all suspect.

I think these fears are unwarranted. The establishment parties he's (probably) inclined to bring in were gutted to bones by the electorate. These repudiated parties still grandstand and pose as if the public wants anything more to do with them. They refuse to face the fact that the whiff of grapeshot discharged towards their behinds is still there and lingering. So they continue to hold up their noses at joining a Babis coalition, playing hard to get, as if they still have anything valuable that anyone wants.

Babis, bring in the dreaded Communists and/or Pirates and/or SPD (+ one or two reduced-to-size established parties). You'll have your majority, and this at-first assailed coalition team might just succeed.
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Diouf
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« Reply #26 on: February 12, 2018, 01:30:26 pm »

The CSSD congress is in less than a week, and three candidates are considered the favourites for the next CSSD leader. Acting CSSD leader and Interior Minister in the Sobotka Cabinet, Milan Chovanec, the former governor of South Bohemia, Jiří Zimola, and Speaker of Chamber of Deputies in the last term and current Deputy Speaker, Jan Hamáček.

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The candidates for the party leader have different attitudes on the possible government cooperation with the ANO movement and Babis. Hamacek wants to launch negotiations with ANO about the programme of the next government.

Zimola would also like to talk with Babis about a government coalition, but he said the CSSD must not be in an inferior position in the government.

Chovanec, who repeatedly clashed with Babis, former finance minister, in the previous cabinet, is rather spectical about cooperation with ANO. He says a prosecuted person should not be a minister.

Last year, the Czech police launched criminal prosecution of Babis over a suspected EU subsidy fraud.

Zimola said he respected the presumption of innocence. Babis's prosecution is an issue for ANO to deal with now.

The party congress or, even better, all CSSD members should take a vote on the coalition, Zimola said, referring to the German Social Democrats (SPD) who negotiated about a grand coalition with Merkel.

Zimola challenged the view that the congress would have enough time to declare a resolute stance on the government cooperation with ANO next week.

Chovanec, on the other hand, hopes that the congress would agree on how to further proceed and whether to to be in the government or in opposition. He said the congress should take the final vote on this in May.

http://praguemonitor.com/2018/02/12/part-%C4%8Dssd-election-congress-be-held-behind-closed-doors
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Famous Mortimer
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« Reply #27 on: February 13, 2018, 05:31:12 am »

Which CSSD candidate does Zeman favor, if any?
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Bojicat
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« Reply #28 on: February 13, 2018, 05:51:11 pm »

I wonder what effect today's verdict against BABIS' slander lawsuit will have on his efforts to launch a coalition government? The Court lets sit secret-police 'evidence' that BABIS was known as Communist agent 'Bures' a few decades ago. 

Was this decision holding up coalition talks at all? Can't figure why it's taking so long to make a deal. ANO, KDU & ODS (Maybe SPD too, or CSSD).
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Diouf
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« Reply #29 on: February 13, 2018, 07:05:06 pm »

Which CSSD candidate does Zeman favor, if any?

He has said that he will not endorse anyone, but he will attend the congress on invitation from acting leader Chovanec. All three favourites for the leadership supported Zeman in the presidential election, with Chovanec even being on stage with him celebrating the win. However, Chovanec has been the most critical of cooperation with Babis so far, so it is by no means certain that he is Zeman's preferred candidate.

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Diouf
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« Reply #30 on: February 19, 2018, 02:44:44 pm »

CSSD elected Jan Hamacek as new leader. In the final round of voting, he won won 272 votes at the congress, beating former regional government chief Jan Zimola, who got 224 votes.



Hamacek seemed the most eager of the candidates to pursue cooperation with ANO, since he did not reject the role of Babis in the government. Hamacek simply said that "The problem of criminally prosecuted government members is not a problem of the CSSD. It arose within the ANO movement. We expect our counterparts from ANO to tell us during the talks whether and how they want to solve the problem,". The CSSD congress also adopted a resolution calling on ANO not to nominate criminally prosecuted persons to the government, but apparently not setting this up as a red line. However, it did make clear that "A government with the support or participation of the CSSD must not rely on the votes of the SPD". Once negotiations are complete, the CSSD congress will meet again and have another vote.

http://praguemonitor.com/2018/02/19/social-democrats-negotiate-new-government-ano

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-czech-politics/czech-social-democrats-pick-leader-bring-viable-government-closer-idUSKCN1G20RF
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« Reply #31 on: March 03, 2018, 12:41:11 pm »

Both ANO and CSSD now supports the Communists' demand to tax the 2012 church resitutitions. A sign that parties are willing to bend in negotiations for a majority.

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The 2012 agreement on compensating churches for property seized by the Communists was one of the most sensitive issues tackled post-1989. Following a 20-year-debate, the centre right government of prime minister Petr Nečas and representatives of 16 churches signed bilateral agreements under which they would receive 75 billion crowns worth of land and property confiscated by the Communist regime and get 59 billion crowns worth of compensation money for the rest, to be paid by the state over a period of 30 years.

Although the Communist Party vehemently protests against the agreement, saying it was overinflated, and pushing for the compensation money to be taxed, until now they were powerless to oppose it.

This changed with the new balance of power in the lower house. The ANO party which won the elections and is striving to form the country’s next government agreed to support the proposal in return for tolerance from the Communists. The bill which would level an 19 percent tax on church restitution money won support in its first reading not only from the Communists and ANO, but also from the Social Democrats, a likely coalition partner in the next government, and the anti-migrant Freedom and Democracy Party which is seeking to push through its policy priorities in return for backing other parties’ proposals.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/communist-party-wins-new-allies-in-quest-to-see-church-restitutions-taxed
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« Reply #32 on: March 13, 2018, 04:14:03 pm »

Just when it seemed, we were on our way towards a ANO-CSSD government with Communist support, the government formation proces seems to take new directions again.

Babis and ANO has angered the Communists by forcing KSCM MP Zdenek Ondracek to resign as head of the lower house commission for the General Inspection of the Security Corps. Ondracek was a member of the communist riot police, which intervened against anti-communist demonstrations in 1989. ANO supported his nomination to the post, but after a huge public backlash and several demonstrations, Babis suddenly announced that ANO was withdrawing their confidence in him.

Babis has thought of ODS as a coalition partner again, and has said he wants to have talks about the government programme and participation in the government with ODS, claiming that voices in ODS would like such a government to become reality (Klaus Jr and allies). However, ODS leader Petr Fiala is not one of them, and has again rejected it. "ODS leader Petr Fiala said what Babis is considering is of little importance, but what he does is crucial. "In all major votes his government relies on the Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) and the Communists (KSCM) and they sink our proposals lowering taxes and curbing red tape," he tweeted." Babis' sudden overtures to ODS has angered CSSD, whose new chairman Jan Hamacek tweeted that his party would likely cancel all talks with ANO if he starts talks with ODS as well.

The Social Democrats is also trying to figure out whether it will be ready internally to participate as junior partner in a Babis government. Former PM Sobotka is seen as a potential troublemaker; and the same is former Immigration Minister and acting party leader Milan Chovanec. They will likely campaign against any deal before the vote in the CSSD congress, but state that they will be loyal to the outcome. However, Hamacek and others seem to prefer if they found another job outside parliament, and there are rumours they could be appointed to a decent post as a part of the government negotiations.

Babis has also stated that ANO is negotiating with the Communists and the SPD about possible support for an ANO government. However, two leading ANO figures, Justice Minister Robert Pelikan and Foreign Minister Martin Stropnicky, has come out strongly against a deal that relies on the SPD.

My guess would be that most of this is posturing from Babis, most likely in an attempt to soften CSSD's demands in negotiations and reach a quick settlement. However, both of his other ideas have considerable obstacles in one way or another, so the question is how effectful it is. But we will see. Maybe he will go for it, if any majority suddenly turns up in one of the many negotiations, ANO seems to be having.

http://praguemonitor.com/2018/03/12/babi%C5%A1-ano-may-offer-government-cooperation-ods
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Diouf
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« Reply #33 on: March 17, 2018, 06:08:24 pm »

It was only a short flirt with the other parties from Babis. He has now stated that he has called off all negotiations about the KCSM/SPD possibility. He mentioned big differences in terms of referendum (with SPD) and foreign policy and finances (with KCSM). ODS, as expected, continued to reject cooperation with ANO after their meeting. So we are now back to only the ANO-CSSD cabinet backed by KCSM. They aim to have a draft agreement on cooperation ready for approval on the CSSD congress on April 7th.

http://praguemonitor.com/2018/03/16/ano-negotiate-only-%C4%8Dssd-about-minority-government
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njwes
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« Reply #34 on: March 23, 2018, 01:22:50 am »

Any news here? It's been very hard recently to get much news in English on the current Czech political intrigue (at least, news that's not so heavily for or against one side, which to me renders it highly suspicious and not very useful).
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Diouf
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« Reply #35 on: March 23, 2018, 08:41:40 am »

After Babis' short attempt to broaden the negotiations, we are now back at negotiating about a ANO-CSSD government with outside support from KCSM. Negotiations seem to be going okay, and a government programme is hoped to be agreed upon before the Social Democrat congress on April 7th, where the party will vote on the programme. The areas of discussion mentioned in the press is taxation (CSSD want to introduce progressive taxation in several areas, ANO tends to oppose), the degree of public house building and increased pensions. The question is how much the Communists will have to say in this, as they could help move the economic policies further left. However, neither ANO nor CSSD seem willing to give in on KCSM' foreign policy wishes of referendums about EU and NATO membership.

One obstacle in forming an ANO-CSSD government is gone as former PM Bohuslav Sobotka is giving up his seat in parliament. At the same time he declared that he is against such a government, and would vote against it at the congress.
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Diouf
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« Reply #36 on: March 30, 2018, 04:24:32 am »

Negotiations about a new government continues. CSSD has published a list of their most important wishes in the negotiations, and hope to include KSČM more deeply in the negotiations, so these economically left-wing ideas have a better chance of being accepted by ANO. "These priorities include the ban on privatisation of public services and companies with the state stake, the introduction of sick pay during the first three days of illness on the 60-percent pay level as of next year, while ANO proposes 30 percent only, and a guarantee that patients' direct financial participation in health care will not be raised. Moreover, the CSSD would like to introduce banking and inheritance taxes and shared jobs and demands "the declarations of a permanent solution to the economically problematic regions across the sectors."

It seems that ANO and CSSD have agreed on a referendum bill, which thankfully has a quite high bar and excludes international agreements. "Under the law, at least 850,000 signatures would be needed to call any national referendum and for any measure to gain approval it would need support of more than a half of eligible voters in the country".


http://praguemonitor.com/2018/03/28/%C4%8Dssd-wants-ks%C4%8Dm-help-it-agree-priorities-ano

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-czech-lawmaking-referendum/czech-cabinet-backs-referendum-bill-safeguarding-against-czexit-idUSKBN1H31DZ
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Diouf
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« Reply #37 on: April 06, 2018, 03:33:02 am »

Government talks apparently about to break down because Babis will not give CSSD the interior or finance minister position (where they can have oversight of Babis' shady business dealings).

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The Czech Social Democratic party (CSSD) is ready to walk away from talks after the ANO party of Prime Minister Andrej Babis rejected its cabinet wishes, party leader Jan Hamacek said on Thursday. Hamacek told reporters he would recommend his party leadership end talks with ANO when it meets on Friday.

After talking since February, the ANO and CSSD had found common ground on an agenda but had yet to agree on cabinet posts.

“ANO refused our constructive offers ... We have nothing left but propose at tomorrow’s leadership meeting to end talks with ANO on government cooperation,” Hamacek said.

The party had sought the Interior or Finance Ministry as Babis, a billionaire businessman, faces criminal charges over an alleged fraud a decade ago involving European Union subsidies worth 2 million euros. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Speaking afterward, Babis said his party offered up to five ministries, including the Justice Ministry.

“I think that our (party) has shown great flexibility and tolerance,” he told reporters. “We have done our best. The stance of CSSD surprised us, we are sorry for that and unfortunately, our generous offer was not accepted.”

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-czech-politics/czech-government-talks-break-down-in-row-over-ministry-posts-idUSKCN1HC2R9?il=0
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Diouf
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« Reply #38 on: April 12, 2018, 10:44:17 am »

ANO in currently having internal talks about how to proceed in negotiations after President Zeman advised Babis to form a government with support from Communists and SPD. There are a number of prominent dissidents, who are clearly opposed to cooperation with the two parties. EU Commissioner Vera Jourova said "I still hope that this will not happen, and I am really intensively pondering on what this would mean for me", and added that Czechia has the best prospect of being a stable and fully democratic society, which is why there is no reason for its government to depend on the SPD's support. Justice Minister Robert Pelikan has already announced that he wants to leave politics when a new government is formed because "It is very hard for me to find understanding with a number of ANO lawmakers concerning human rights,". Transport Minister Dan Tok has said, he will do the same if cooperation with KCSM and SPD happens, "I do not want to assist in legitimising the parties that should not be legitimised". Defence Minister Karla Slechtova has previously called SPD fascists, and Foreign Minister Martin Stropnicky has been similarly critical.

Babis himself says that cooperation with KCSM and SPD would depend on support from the ANO movement, but whether that means a onevote majority or broad support in the party was not defined. I'm pretty certain he can get a majority, but it seems likely that it will completely break off their liberal wing. He added, that cooperation with the two parties is currently the only option, and "if the ANO movement will interpret it this way also, there is nothing left to do than work with the Communists and SPD." He also rejected the idea of an international backlash if his government depended on SPD:"Absolutely not, that is the fiction of Czech journalists. Look at what is going on in Austria". With both KCSM and SPD fairly eager to support Babis, he can probably find a path, where the government maintains its clear pro-EU and pro-NATO position, while making smaller concessions in other areas to keep the support parties happy (and himself in power).

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-czech-politics/czech-pm-babis-says-government-with-communists-far-right-a-last-resort-idUSKBN1HJ0YI
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Diouf
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« Reply #39 on: April 13, 2018, 02:11:39 am »

The opposition internally in ANO to cooperation with SPD was apparently deemed to big by Babis.

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The Czech ruling ANO party agreed on Thursday to restart negotiations with the center-left Social Democrats to form a new government to avoid a deal involving an anti-European far-right party.

“The movement’s leadership requests the negotiating team to restart talks with the CSSD,” Babis said on Twitter after ANO leadership met on Thursday, without further details. It was not immediately clear what a new offer from ANO could look like. Social Democrat leader Jan Hamacek said he would hear the ANO out. “The CSSD is always open to serious negotiation for the benefit of this country,” he tweeted.

An ANO-CSSD coalition would have 93 votes in the 200-seat lower house of parliament and would require votes from the far-left, anti-NATO Communist party. Both ANO and the Social Democrats have said this was acceptable given the government would maintain a pro-EU course.

The alternative for ANO, backed by the pro-Russian president Milos Zeman, was a minority cabinet backed by the Communists as well as the anti-immigration SPD.

That option proved too much to accept for a number of ANO’s 78 lawmakers, including several ministers who said they would not serve in a cabinet propped up by the far-right.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-czech-politics/czech-ano-party-wants-new-shot-at-center-left-coalition-to-avoid-far-right-idUSKBN1HJ0YI
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tack50
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« Reply #40 on: April 13, 2018, 05:57:06 am »

Why is SPD so hated by ANO?

An ANO-commies-SPD government would be a trainwreck, but it's probably the easiest government to form.

Also, since ANO has such a large lead, why not just form a minority government?
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DavidB.
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« Reply #41 on: April 13, 2018, 07:26:26 am »

Really disappointing. ANO are so useless.
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Diouf
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« Reply #42 on: April 13, 2018, 04:34:11 pm »

Why is SPD so hated by ANO?

An ANO-commies-SPD government would be a trainwreck, but it's probably the easiest government to form.

Also, since ANO has such a large lead, why not just form a minority government?

Well, there's was never going to be an ANO-Communists-SPD government, the whole point would be a minority government by ANO supported by those two parties. And yes ANO is clearly the biggest party, but it does not have a majority on its own. In theory, the ANO government in resignation could "rule" for the whole term if Zeman wants it to, but I think both Babis and Zeman would still much prefer some kind of stability by actually having a majority.

The reason that a significant part of ANO Ministers and MPs does not want to cooperate with SPD is statements like "Jews, homosexuals and Roma should be gassed" by the SPD secretary, Okamura himself denying the genocide of Romas during WWII etc. And while there is little interest in opening for non-western immigration in any party, they probably think SPD's rhetoric in this area is too tough as well. Practically, there could of course also be concerns about the stability of the party, since Okamura's last party splintered pretty quickly.
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« Reply #43 on: April 13, 2018, 04:37:49 pm »

Really disappointing. ANO are so useless.

For refusing to deal with a party wanting to gas yourself?
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Lord Halifax
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« Reply #44 on: April 13, 2018, 06:40:08 pm »

Really disappointing. ANO are so useless.

For refusing to deal with a party wanting to gas yourself?

You can say a lot about Okamura, but he isn't an anti-Semite.
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DavidB.
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« Reply #45 on: April 13, 2018, 06:51:01 pm »

Really disappointing. ANO are so useless.
For refusing to deal with a party wanting to gas yourself?
You can say a lot about Okamura, but he isn't an anti-Semite.
Okamura is so antisemitic that he made a video in which he said Czechia should recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. In other words, he's fine.
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« Reply #46 on: April 14, 2018, 07:11:13 am »

It becomes disturbing when pro-Israel comments take precedence over anti-Semitic ones.
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« Reply #47 on: April 14, 2018, 10:21:23 am »

Has Babis (and his family?) divested from his business holdings?
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Diouf
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« Reply #48 on: April 23, 2018, 02:58:17 pm »

Vojtech Filip re-elected as Communist leader ahead of Skala from the hardcore left. This should make it more likely that the party stays on its current course, and could end up supporting an ANO-Social Democrat government. Trilateral talks on the government are expected to start next week.

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The Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM) will be still headed by party leader Vojtech Filip since he defeated deputy chairman Josef Skala in the second round of the vote at the party congress on Saturday. Filip received the votes from 165 and Skala from 143 delegates.
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« Reply #49 on: May 11, 2018, 03:24:15 pm »

CSSD and ANO has agreed on a government programme, that will now be subject of a vote in the CSSD. Members will be able to vote from 21 May to 14 June.

The full programme has not yet been released, but media reports have the headline ideas:

Quote
The policy statement of the planned government of the ANO movement and the Social Democratic Party (CSSD) wants to introduce a pension reform and a new income tax law, reinforce security, reject refugee quotas and promote Czech interests in the European Union.

The state administration should be moved online, high-speed Internet become available as much as possible and a strategical investment programme will be defined, according to the policy statement, the text of which is available to CTK.

In the EU, the government wants to fight tax havens and promote the development of nuclear energy. The government does not plan to adopt the euro as the Czech currency.

Within the pension reform, the pension account should be separated from the state budget. ANO and the CSSD plan to build more flats for young families and senior citizens, they want to speed up the construction of motorways and main roads and prepare the constructions of new units in nuclear power plants.

Investment incentives are to be exceptional, the state budget balanced and the financing of schools, hospitals and sport organisations follow clear rules. Self-sufficiency in energy and foods and the protection of mineral resources are to contribute to a higher security.

The government pledges to keep cooperating with trade unions and employers.

The government policy statement is based on the policy statement of the ANO minority cabinet headed by Babis which lost the confidence vote in January and which will rule the country until the appointment of a new cabinet. Some CSSD priorities were incorporated in the text, such as the ban on privatisation of public services and state-controlled companies, a guarantee that direct healthcare payment by patients would not go up and some social benefits.

However, the policy statement does not include the estate duty and a special tax imposed on banks, which the Social Democrats demanded.

According to the agreements made so far, the CSSD is to head the interior ministry, which it strictly demanded because of Babis's criminal prosecution, along with the labour and social affairs, agriculture, culture and foreign affairs ministries.

http://praguemonitor.com/2018/05/11/%C4%8Dssd-ano-govt-wants-pension-reform-security-income-tax
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