President appoints new cabinet

President Miloš Zeman appointed a new centre-left government to office on Wednesday. The new administration, led by Social Democrat prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka is a coalition of his party, Andrej Babis’ ANO movement, and the Christian Democrats. The new cabinet will have 17 members with the Social Democrats controlling eight ministries, ANO six and the Christian Democrats three.

The new administration has pledged to stimulate economic growth, raise pensions and the minimum wage while keeping the budget deficit below 3 percent of GDP. The incoming finance minister claims improved tax collection will help provide the state with the extra funds needed. The government has 30 days to win a vote of confidence in the lower house of parliament but coalition leaders said they would seek a vote around February 18.

Author: Chris Johnstone