Prime minister suggests others more deserving of praise than finance minister for budget surplus


Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka took aim at President Miloš Zeman in a political debate program on Sunday, charging the head of state had not been nearly critical enough of Finance Minister Andrej Babiš. President Zeman ilast week n fact had praise for the finance minister regarding this year's budget surplus. The prime minister countered by saying that the Nobel prize which the president jokingly mentioned would have been better suited for civil servants and ministers who had seen to it that the country properly drew remaining European funds which led to the surplus. The prime minister and finance minister, head the Social Democrats and ANO parties, respectively. Rhetoric between the two politicians has grown increasingly heated in recent days and weeks; Czechs will go to the polls next year and surveys have routinely suggested ANO will win and the Social Democrats will come second, putting pressure on the prime minister to turn his party's fortunes around. The leadership of the party met this weekend to look for ways to attract new as well as former voters.