Thursday, 9 May 2019

Prime minister and president meet for traditional New Year get together

ČTK |
4 January 2016

Lany, Central Bohemia, Jan 2 (CTK) - Czech President Milos Zeman and Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) discussed current politics, plans for this year and their children at the traditional New Year's luncheon along with their wives, Ivana Zemanova and Olga Sobotkova, Saturday.
After leaving the luncheon, Sobotka said he and Zeman did not agree on everything, but they would cooperate in the Czech Republic's interest.
"As far as politics is concerned, I disclosed some plans of mine for 2016 to Zeman," Sobotka said.
"These were primarily the rise in the minimum wage, the proposed change in the pension indexation and increase in the contribution for care," Sobotka said.
"As it was a social event, we spoke not only about politics, but also about the past holiday and children," Sobotka said.
"Although we do not have the same view of everything with Zeman, it is also true of 2016 that we will be in a regular contact, cooperating for the sake of the Czech Republic's citizens and good functioning," he added.
Zeman and Sobotka often clashed over some issues in the past year.
They differ in their views of some foreign policy affairs. Zeman is strongly against the immigrant influx, while Sobotka has adopted a somewhat moderate position.
Sobotka has also criticised Zeman for having delivered a speech alongside Martin Konvicka, leader of the extremist Block Against Islam, on November 17, a Czech national holiday.
Sobotka said in doing so Zeman had joined the populists who capitalise on people's fears of the migrant crisis, legitimising the spread of xenophobia and hatred.
Zeman reacted by accusing Sobotka of jeopardising national security by his attitude to the migrant crisis.
In his Christmas message, Zeman expressly said the Czech Republic "is not and cannot be for everyone."
On the other hand, Zeman praised the Czech Republic's economic growth, raise in salaries and a low jobless rate in his Christmas message to the nation.
He also praised the current three-party coalition government.
pv/dr

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