The three parties of the emerging centre-left coalition have released the
details of the future government’s policy programme. The Social
Democrats, ANO and the Christian Democrats plan no tax hikes next year as
they agreed to postpone any changes to the tax system for 2015. The
emerging coalition would however like to raise the taxes on betting and
lottery, and cut the VAT rates on medicines, books, and other goods. The
three parties plan to raise pensions and the minimum wage, and to scrap
direct payments for medical care; they want to invest more into transport
infrastructure, and pursue self-sufficiency in basic foodstuffs. The
agreement also suggests the next government will only go ahead with the
expansion of the Temelín nuclear plant if it’s economically viable.
Christian Democratic leaders are to discuss the agreement at the weekened while ANO is set to debate it next week. Leadership of the Social Democrat party, meanwhile, approved the deal unanimously on Friday.
In this week’s business news: Industrial output has grown for the fourth consecutive month; The prime minister has announced that the interim government will not decide on coal mining limits; Tow more people have been charged in connection to the privatization of mining company OKD; Unemployment figures increased slightly in November; The Czech state debt has decreased in the past nine months.
The Social Democrats, ANO and the Christian Democrats have reached agreement on a coalition deal. The document will be signed by party representatives on Thursday and made public the following day. The parties hammered out the deal late on Tuesday night after lengthy talks. On the issue of health fees, they have agreed to remove them for seeing a doctor but retain them for visits to accident and emergency. Regarding VAT, there will be a second lower rate covering medicines, books, nappies and children’s foods. The three parties are expected to focus on the division of portfolios next week when the leader of the Christian Democrats returns from an overseas trip.
Three Czech parties have struck a deal on forming a coalition government. The Social Democrats, ANO and the Christian Democrats have finalized agreement on the next cabinet’s policies. The parties said the agreement would be signed and made public before the end of the week before they tackle the final part of the deal – distributing government portfolios, and nominating future ministers.
Police in Prague are stepping up security at banks in the city in the period leading up to Christmas when, they say, crime usually increases. Officers will focus on drop-offs of shops’ takings and ATMs. They will monitor selected banks and carry out checks on individuals spotted in their vicinity, a spokesperson said.
Members of the police’s organised crime unit have searched the offices of power giant CEZ for materials relating to solar power stations. The police would not give details of the target of the investigation, which saw raids on Tuesday at CEZ’s headquarters in Prague and a daughter company in Hradec Králové. While much remains unclear, Prague Supreme State Attorney Lenka Bradáčová confirmed that the matter was linked to solar power stations. In recent years CEZ has spent billions of crowns buying solar power stations from private companies, some of which are reported to have had unclear ownership structures.
The parties of the emerging coalition government are debating tax changes as of 2015. Social Democrat leader Bohuslav Sobotka told Czech Television on Sunday that the proposal currently being discussed envisaged three VAT rates as of 2015 – a standard rate and two lower rates with medicines falling into the lowest category. The fallout in state revenues would be compensated for by higher corporate taxes. Details of the emerging agreement are still to be finalized. The Social Democrats, ANO and the Christian Democrats say they have made significant progress on policy matters. A debate on the division of ministerial posts has been postponed until mid-December.
The parties of the emerging coalition –the Social Democrats, ANO and the Christian Democrats –say Saturday’s talks were fruitful and brought significant progress on policy matters. Several issues remain unresolved in the area of taxes and health care, with agreement reached on scrapping direct payments for medical care. The three parties also agreed they would all have the right of veto on proposed legislation. The division of ministerial posts has been shelved due to the temporary absence of Christian Democrat leader Pavel Belobrádek. The parties hope to conclude talks on policy issues by next Tuesday but they have so far made no official commitment to enter into a coalition.
The Czech lower house on Friday approved a draft of the state budget for 2014 in the so-called first reading, sending it for debates in the house committees. The draft budget has a projected deficit of 112 billion crowns which would leave the gap in public spending below 3 percent of GDP. It is based on growth expectations of 1.3 percent, which would bring an additional four to five billion crowns in tax revenues to state coffers. The parties of the emerging government coalition – the Social Democrats, ANO and the Christian Democrats – have said they would like to see the budget approved by the end of the year.
This week in business news: Travel Service Airlines to buy 34-percent stake in Czech Airlines; Developer Metrostav files arbitration suit against Prague over Blanka tunnel payments; Nominal average wage has risen by 322 crowns, but real wages stagnate; GDP has fallen in Q3 by less than was expected; Mining company OKD will have a new director starting January; Industrial space is the fastest growing sector of the Czech real estate market.
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