Government aims to sell a part of CEZ

The new Czech finance minister Vlastimil Tlusty said in a televised debate on Sunday that the government intends to sell a part of the Czech power giant CEZ. Mr. Tlusty said the plan was to sell 16 percent of the company's shares on the Prague stock market. This would still leave the state a majority owner. It currently has a 67 percent stake.

The finance minister also said that the state was short of 153 billion crowns to cover the cost of environmental damages, which could result in huge fines. He indicated that the former Social Democrat-led government had left the country with many hidden debts and said there was no way the deficit in public finances for next year could be kept below 100 billion crowns. The opposition Social Democrats have said they will not support a budget with a higher deficit.