Social Democrats present election programme

Social Democrats unveiled their programme for the upcoming general elections at a party conference in Teplice, northern Bohemia on Saturday. Party leader Jiří Paroubek told the convention that if they win at the polls in May, they will make the Czech Republic one of top ten EU countries with the highest living standards. Mr Paroubek said his government would raise corporate taxes and taxes for the rich, and abolish fees for visits to the doctor, introduced last year as part of a health-care reform. The Social Democrat leader also promised to pay one-time extra pensions. The party would like to lower the deficit of the state budget and adopt the euro by 2016.

The election for the lower house of the Czech parliament is scheduled for May 28 and 29. The Social Democrats are leading in most polls, followed by the right-of-centre Civic Democrats, the conservative party TOP 09 and Communists. Some polls suggest that Christian Democrats and the Greens would also pass the five-percent threshold to enter the lower house.

Author: Jan Richter