Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla has succeeded in passing a package of eleven bills aimed at reducing the Czech Republic's record budget deficit and preparing the country for the adoption of the euro currency in 2010. On Friday the Chamber of Deputies voted to increase consumer tax, raise the pension age, reduce illness benefits and lower state support for building savings. Mr Spidla, who had staked his future on the reforms being pushed through, said he was optimistic next year's budget would also be approved. The bills must now be passed by the Senate and signed by President Vaclav Klaus.
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