Fischer presents government’s policy statement to Parliament

Prime Minister Jan Fischer has presented his government’s policy statement to the Chamber of Deputies, laying out the priorities for the remainder of the interim government’s tenure. Key among those is bridging the economic crisis, which the PM said is not yet a thing of the past. The prime minister said that in the current economic climate no fundamental changes would be made to the ministries, cost-cutting measures will continue across the board, however no additional austerity package will be put forward, unless some unforeseen economic crash occurs. Mr Fischer emphasised that his cabinet had managed its first five months in office well, and had met the priorities set forth in its first policy statement. Gaining better access to EU funds, he said, would be a priority across the ministries. Mr Fischer strongly emphasised that his is a pro-EU government, committed to ratifying the Lisbon treaty by the end of 2009; attempts he said were underway to negotiate the exemption from the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights requested by President Václav Klaus.

Prime Minister Fischer’s government was originally intended as a provisional “summer government” after the elected centre-right government lost a vote of confidence in the spring. Early elections were suspended by the Constitutional Court however, and the key parliamentary parties have agreed that the government may continue its mandate without a vote of confidence until regular elections are held next year.