President Klaus signs state budget with record deficit


President Václav Klaus signed into law on Sunday the 2010 state budget bill with a record deficit of 163 billion crowns, or nearly 8.9 billion US dollars. Mr Klaus, who had criticized the budget over the massive deficit, singed the bill during a live talk show on the commercial TV station Prima.

The caretaker Czech government drafted the 2010 budget with a deficit amounting to 5.3 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. However, the lower house of the Czech Parliament made last-minute changes to the draft, increasing the deficit to 5.7 percent of GDP. Prime Minister Jan Fischer then warned that the European Commission was likely to launch proceedings against the Czech Republic as a result.