Civic Democrat rebels will not support church restitution bill

20-05-2008

The ruling Civic Democratic Party has failed to convince three party rebels to support a controversial bill on the restitution of church property, which has caused friction in the governing coalition. Under the government-proposed bill, the state would compensate churches for property confiscated by the communists to the tune of 83 billion crowns. However steep interest rates on the phased-off, 60-year-payments would bring the final sum to 270 billion crowns, which not only the opposition parties but three Civic Democrat deputies consider excessively generous. After the three Civic Democrat rebels blocked the bill’s passage in the lower house a few weeks ago debate on it was postponed until June. The Christian Democrats of the governing coalition have indicated that failure to push through the bill could seriously undermine the stability of the coalition government.