3 Czech Parties Ink Coalition Agreement
Three Czech parties have announced that they have inked a deal to form a coalition government after months-long political crisis in the country.
According to Euractiv, the Social Democrats have reached the coalition deal late Tuesday, agreeing to leave taxes on companies and high earners unchanged next year to help clear the way for a center-left government to take power.
Tax policy had been the main sticking point in coalition talks.
The leftist Social Democrats, winners by a slim margin of an October parliamentary election, are looking to return to government for the first time since 2006 in coalition with the centrist ANO movement and the Christian Democrats.
Populist, anti-corruption ANO was founded by billionaire Andrej Babis. It opposes higher taxes. The party finished a strong second in the October polls after it managed to attract voters that had in the past supported more established center-right parties.
"It is definitely done," Bohuslav Sobotka, the Social Democratic party chairman and likely next prime minister, is quoted in saying.
He and the leaders of the other two parties said they would give final details of their coalition agreement later in the week.
This will enable Sobotka to present his government to President Milos Zeman by the end of the year.
Prime Minister Petr Necas' government collapsed in June amid a bribery scandal, and a government of technocrats, formed by President Zeman in July and opposed by the main political parties, resigned in August.
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