Czech government approves its program statement – here’s what we know so far

The document does not differ significantly from what the politicians promised in the November coalition program

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Czech News Agency
Czech President Milos Zeman (in a wheelchair) and the ministers of the new Czech five-party cabinet led by Petr Fiala (Civic Democrats), comprising also the Mayors and Independents, Christian Democrats, TOP 09 and the Pirates, pose for a photo at the presidential manor in Lany, Czech Republic, Friday, Dec. 17, 2021.  (CTK via AP Photo/Vit Simanek, pool).

The government of the SPOLU (Together) and PirSTAN coalitions approved its program statement on Thursday and will deliver it to the Chamber of Deputies on Jan. 12 to request a vote of confidence.

According to the Minister of Finance Zbyněk Stanjura (ODS) and his colleagues, the document does not differ significantly from what the politicians promised in the November coalition program. It includes, among other things, a promise that the first stage of pension reform will be adopted by the end of 2023.

The Minister of Health Vlastimil Válka (TOP 09) revealed that the document now also contains a provision related to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have defined that we consider Covid-19 to be something that cannot be eliminated in one dose of vaccination. It is necessary to set up the system so that there are no waves and changes,” the minister said.

At a press conference on the budget, Stanjura said that the government statement would not bring major changes compared to the coalition program. He mentioned, for example, an increase in the limit for the use of a flat tax, and the program also includes plans for tax relief. “Everything is conditional on reducing debt,” he explained.

When Minister of the Environment Anna Hubáčková (KDU-ČSL) arrived at the government office, she told reporters that the statement contained some new terms against the coalition agreement. “We have made a commitment to present the constitutional protection of water this year, that we will also end the law on the agricultural land fund this year, so we have rather provided deadlines,” she said.

The agriculture ministry has plans to increase the share of organic farming to 20 percent of agricultural land by 2030. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Transport outlined clear deadlines for the completion of several highways and railways, as well as for the preparation of high-speed rail.

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