PM says he should have scared public more over need for reforms

29-05-2007

Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek says his biggest mistake was not scaring the Czech public enough about what could happen if social, tax and health reforms are not carried out. Speaking at a seminar in the Senate, Mr Topolanek said the situation was dismal and he should have issued a sterner warning to voters when he first unveiled the government's reform plans. The Chamber of Deputies is due to vote on the reform package at the start of next month. If it does not pass, the prime minister says he will push for early elections.

Meanwhile, the director of the Czech central bank, Zdenek Tuma, said on Tuesday that the reforms were a step in the right direction. However, he said they were a first step towards stabilising the public finances in the short term, and did not guarantee their sustainability in the long term.