Fallout continues from Friday’s government legislative defeat
The shockwaves of the government’s double legislative defeat on Friday continue to be felt within political circles – with one newspaper headline simply calling it PM Topolánek’s “Black Friday”. Legislation calling for the abolition of doctor’s fees for children, seniors and those in poverty proposed by the opposition Social Democrats passed its second reading in parliament after gaining the support of Christian Democrat MP Ludvík Hovorka, Green Party MP Olga Zubová, Social Democrat rebels Evžen Snitilý and Petr Wolf and former Civic Democrat MP Juraj Raněnec. The vote was seen as a severe blow to an embattled Civic Democratic party reeling from various scandals and infighting – and in particular to Health Minister Tomáš Julínek, the co-architect of the current doctor’s fees. A second opposition bill to reduce petrol taxes also passed its first reading.