Top 09 chief rules out coalition with Social Democrats

The leader of a new centre-right political party says the prospect of a coalition government with the Social Democrats is unrealistic. Speaking in an interview with the newspaper Lidové noviny, Top 09 chairman Karel Schwarzenberg said such a coalition was unlikely because of what he called dirty personal attacks on the part of the Social Democrats leader Jiří Paroubek. He also said the centre-left party had an “unhealthy financial and budgetary policy”. Mr Schwarzenberg, a former foreign minister, said wealthy businessman Zdeněk Bakala had offered to fund Top 09. The new party will take face its first electoral test in October, when early general elections take place.

Author: Ian Willoughby