Kunhl, Kalousek: agreement on rents is valid - Social Democrat MPs disagree
Also following government talks on Tuesday: chairman of the Freedom Union's deputies club Karel Kunhl and the leader of the Christian Democrats Miroslav Kalousek stated they believed that a recent government agreement on raising regulated rent was indeed valid, with Mr Kalousek saying he thought the agreement reached would be a "viable compromise" for most Social Democrat MPs. That, however, has not been reflected by the Social Democrats so far: last week several Social Democrats, including Finance Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, cast doubt on the agreement reached in January, and on Tuesday Social Democrat negotiators continued to insist a rise in rents should grow more slowly than previously proposed. In January Finance Minister Sobotka and Minister for Local Development Pavel Nemec approved a plan that would see regulated-rents go up three times by 2006, each time at a rate of 10 percent. However, due to an expected rise in the VAT on the water rate, Mr Sobotka hinted at the weekend the rise in regulated rent might come down several percentage points.