New Czech government finalises policy statement
After much debate and discussion, the new Czech coalition government of the Social Democrats, Christian Democrats and the Freedom Union finalised its policy statement over the weekend and approved it on Monday morning. The principles of the final version stay true to the Social Democrats' manifesto, focusing on the importance of the family, health care, and the increasing of state benefits. More from Dita Asiedu:
Economists are asking the inevitable question. How the government intends to pay for it. With the state budget deficit on the rise and expenses gradually increasing is the policy statement a promise the government really can deliver? The economist, Jan Sykora, for example has reacted rather sceptically to the plan:
Although that is a question that the government has not chosen to answer yet, economists hope that the solution will lie in a strong economic policy:
"I don't know where the support for businesses will be coming from. I see that there are more ministries being created, we have more deputy chairs of parliament, functions are being created and we have a really large bureaucratic apparatus on the government side. I think that the best support businesses could receive is the creation of or helping to establish business-friendly infrastructure and I see very little being done about that. That means creating business-friendly infrastructure from the tax perspective, transparent and fair environment with as little bureaucratic intervention as possible."
And Mr Sykora is not the only critic of the policy statement. For the first time since the appointment of the new government, the Civic Democratic Party will have a chance to play their role as opposition. On Tuesday, its MP's are expected to point to the financial factor as a reason to vote against the plan when it is presented before the lower house of parliament. The coalition government's slim majority of 101 in the 200 seat Chamber of Deputies, however, is expected to suffice to get a vote of confidence.