Czech government talks fail to make progress

Prime Minister designate and Civic Democrat leader Mirek Topolanek and Social Democrat chairman and outgoing prime minister Jiri Paroubek met on Monday morning for talks about a future Czech government but the talks have failed to make progress. Mr Paroubek said it was unlikely that his Social Democrats would support a minority Civic Democrat government. Mirek Topolanek, on the other hand, accused Mr Paroubek of blocking the formation of a rightist minority government. Meanwhile the Social Democrat leadership decided later on Monday that the party would continue in the negotiations with the Civic Democrats on a Civic Democrat minority cabinet.

The Civic Democrats won the most votes in a national election in June, but parliament has been deadlocked because the right and left-wing blocs hold the same number of seats in the lower house.