The EU has so far promised to provide CZK 100 billion in funding through
its Integrated Regional Operational Program between the years 2021 to 2027,
a decrease of around one-fifth compared to the previous term, the minister
of regional development, Klára Dostálová of ANO, told journalists on
Monday. Meanwhile, the rate of national co-financing will increase from the
current 15 percent to 30 percent. However, Ms. Dostálová said that
negotiations are still ongoing.
In terms of overall funding the Czech Republic is expected to receive CZK 520 billion crowns, which is a 100 CZK billion increase to the current funding budget. The European Commission is asking for three-quarters of the funding to be put into the union wide Intelligent Europe and Green Europe programmes, the minister said.
The lower house of Parliament is expected to approve a government tax
package at its session starting on Tuesday. It includes a proposal to raise
taxes on alcohol and tobacco products, and an increase in parental
The basic parental allowance could rise from 80,000 crowns to 300,000 crowns. MPs are also due to start discuss the draft state budget for 2020, which counts on a 40 billion crown deficit.
In the initial round, MPs will approve the budget’s basic parameters, i.e. revenue, expenditure and deficit. MPs have tabled dozens of amendments to the tax package, only some of which the Committee on Budgets has supported thus far.
On Friday, Prime Minister Andrei Babiš (ANO) and Communist party leader Vojtěch Filip agreed to allocate an additional 4.9 billion crowns for the health sector. Originally, 334 billion crowns was earmarked for the sector.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) said on Thursday that the Czech
government agrees with the European Union’s condemnation of Turkey’s
ongoing military offensive in northern Syria to create a refugee zone.
Turkish troops and their Syrian rebel allies attacked Kurdish militia on Wednesday, pounding them with air strikes and artillery before starting a ground operation. The assault began days after US President Donald Trump withdrew American troops from the area.
Following a meeting in early September with Turkey’s president Tayyip Erdoğan at the United Nations, Mr Babiš had said that the Visegrad Group (the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland) supported Ankara’s intention to create a refugee zone in northern Syria.
Earlier this week, however, the Czech prime minister said that he was surprised by the situation and warned that military intervention could lead to another wave of refugees heading for Europe.
Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (Social Democrats) had earlier warned in an official statement that the Turkish offensive would “only worsen the situation of civilians and refugees in the region”.
The designated Czech vice-president of the European Commission, Věra Jourová, has been approved for the European values and transparency portfolio in the new European Commission. In a three-hour hearing on Monday, Ms. Jourová was grilled by members of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs committees on how she would secure rule of law and media freedom across the EU.
Communist Party leader Vojtěch Filip announced on Friday that his deputies
will likely support the 2020 state budget proposal presented by the finance
The government of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) in mid-September proposed a 2020 budget with a deficit of 40 billion crowns, the same as planned for this year.
Filip’s announcement came following a meeting with Mr Babiš and Minister of Finance Alena Schillerová (ANO). The minority coalition government with the Social Democrat relies on Communist tolerance.
The Communists have used their role as kingmaker several times to win major concessions. ANO was obliged to support their proposal to tax compensation awarded churches in lieu of property seized by the former regime that could not be returned in restitution.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Finance Minister Alena Schillerová are
due to discuss next year’s state budget with representatives of the
Communists on Friday, iDnes.cz reported. The party’s executive committee
will be holding an extraordinary meeting that day and the government
officials hope to persuade them to back a CZK 40 billion deficit when the
2020 budget is voted on.
Communist MP Miloslava Vostrá, who is chair of the lower house’s budget committee, said at the end of August that she would recommend her party leadership support the budget, despite the CZK 40 billion deficit. The party had previously demanded that the deficit not exceed CZK 30 billion.
Under an agreement, the Communists support the minority government of ANO and the Social Democrats on key votes.
Věra Jourová, the European Commission Vice-President nominee, will be
asked how she can independently supervise the observance of rule of law in
the Czech Republic during her hearing in the European Parliament next
Monday, the Czech News Agency reports. Ms. Jourová, who was chosen as
European Commission Vice-President for values and transparency by the
future commission president Ursula von Der Leyen, was proposed as the Czech
candidate by the government of Andrej Babiš, who was found to be in a
conflict of interests by a preliminary EU audit in May.
Damian Boeselager, a German MEP on the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (AFCO), told the Czech News Agency that unlike some Czech MEPs, Ms. Jourová has never opposed Mr Babiš and so it must be clear that she will not disregard any criticism regarding the rule of law in the Czech Republic.
Just as for other EU Commission candidates, Ms. Jourova’s hearing will take three hours, during which MEPs will have the opportunity to ask a total of 25 questions.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’ cabinet approved the 2020 draft budget on Monday, just hours after trade union leaders and employers expressed support for it. The compromise proposal which respects a 40 billion crown deficit ceiling should see more money spent on pensions, social services, teachers’ wages, parental benefits as well as research, sport and investments.
The government on Monday approved the draft budget for 2020 with a
projected 40 million crown deficit.
The government session, attended by President Miloš Zeman, was preceded by a meeting of the tripartite at which trade unions and employers expressed support for the draft proposal, which counts on higher pensions, higher salaries for teachers, more money for social services and families with children and increased spending in the fields of research and investments.
President Zeman made it clear that he would sign the budget, once it is approved by the lower house of Parliament.