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Czech parliament ratifies new government

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The centre-right Czech government, formed after a general election last October, won a confidence vote in parliament on Thursday, completing the transfer of power.

The government led by right-winger Petr Fiala, a 57-year-old former political science professor, comprises five parties and has a majority of 108 votes in the 200-seat chamber.

The government was backed by 106 lawmakers of 193 present while 87 were against in the vote that came on the heels of a marathon parliament meeting.

“It is exactly 102 days since the election that we are finally putting a full stop after it,” Fiala told lawmakers as the meeting started on Wednesday morning GMT.

It went on for 22 hours before being paused. It will resume later on Thursday evening.

Fiala said his government had to tackle the Covid-19 spread, as well as soaring energy prices and growing inflation which reached 6.6 percent annually in December, the highest pace since September 2008.

“Our citizens are no doubt facing the most difficult year since our country gained independence (in 1993), but we are ready to tackle the situation and handle it well,” Fiala added.

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He said his ambition was to make the EU member of 10.7 million people “one of the most advanced countries of the world”.

As his priorities, he mentioned educational and pension reforms, a tender to build a new unit at the Dukovany nuclear plant, building new motorways, establishing a tax brake, and digitalisation.

Fiala’s alliance called Together and comprising his own Civic Democrats, the centre-right TOP 09 party and the centrist Christian Democrats narrowly won the October vote.

It beat the populist ANO movement of former billionaire prime minister Andrej Babis, who is facing police charges over EU subsidy fraud.

Fiala’s alliance then teamed up with another grouping of the centrist Pirate Party and the Mayors and Independents movement to form the government.

AFP

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