Saturday, 16 December 2017

New government to deal with mandate for EU summit

ČTK |
7 December 2017

Prague, Dec 6 (CTK) - The Czech government in resignation interrupted on Wednesday a debate on the prime minister's mandate for the EU summit to be held in Brussels on December 14 and a new cabinet of Andrej Babis will return to the issue at its first meeting in a week, PM Bohuslav Sobotka has told reporters.

Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) announced before the last meeting of his outgoing government of the CSSD, ANO and Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) that his ministers would deal with the mandate for the Brussels summit to prepare it for the future cabinet.

He said he expected the nascent minority government of Babis (ANO chairman) to modify the mandate as it liked.

"We started debating the mandate, but the government interrupted the debate at my suggestion so that the new government could return to it immediately after its appointment on December 13," Sobotka told reporters after the meeting.

According to the current draft mandate, the Czech Republic is to support the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) project of strengthening EU cooperation in defence. In a debate on migration, in which no formal conclusions are expected, Prague should insist on its disagreement with the obligatory migrant quotas, Sobotka added.

President Milos Zeman will appoint Babis prime minister this afternoon.

After his meetings with the candidates for ministers in Babis's team, Zeman plans to appoint the whole government next Wednesday.

The summit in Brussels will start a day later. The EU countries' leaders will primarily debate their deepening cooperation in defence, migration and future of the European Union.

Zeman accepted the resignation of Sobotka's government on Tuesday and he entrusted it with ruling the country until the appointment of the next government.

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