Central bank rebuffs PM’s advice

The Czech National Bank has objected to Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’s words that it could share its profit with the state at this time of crisis and could further reduce interest rates.

The central bank responded via its spokesperson Marketa Fišerová who emphasized that the bank is independent of the government in moulding its monetary policy.

She further noted that it is not clear what profit the prime minister had in mind since the bank board had already agreed to use last year's profit of CZK 57.9 billion to cover part of the accounting losses from previous years.

Asked by journalists how the state would raise money for the economic losses incurred by the coronavirus crisis Mr. Babiš noted that Czech banks are in excellent shape.

"The central bank has huge reserves, it could share a little profit with us, by further lowering the basic interest rate," the prime minister said. He also praised the fact that the country had not joined the single currency and was still using the crown.