Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Cabinet adds senior free train fares to policy statement

ČTK |
9 January 2018

Prague, Jan 8 (CTK) - Free train fares for pensioners and students and social housing are among the points added to the Czech cabinet's policy statement, the ministers told reporters on Monday before the government meeting to deal with it.

The statement also includes a preamble with basic objectives.

The government approved the final version of the manifesto later on Monday.

The minority cabinet of ANO ministers and unaffiliated experts will present the statement at the Chamber of Deputies' confidence vote on Wednesday.

Labour and Social Affairs Minister Jaroslava Nemcova (ANO) said there were minimum changes in the social sphere, however, the cabinet would pursue free train fares for pensioners and students.

Regional Development Minister Klara Dostalova (ANO) said she had added several points concerning housing to the manifesto.

"We added social housing and housing accessible to problematic groups, such as the retired, single mothers and so on," Dostalova said.

The original policy statement had 40 pages. According to PM Andrej Babis (ANO), the document was rewritten in parts and abbreviated.

Babis told public Czech Television that it was shorter by ten pages now.

Dostalova, Justice minister Robert Pelikan (ANO) and Deputy PM and Environment Minister Richard Brabec (ANO) said they had not dropped any points, however.

Brabec was surprised to hear the statement was shorter. He noted that a preamble was added.

"There are mainly all basic areas of focus, such as to be more visible in Europe," he said.

The preamble also mentions strategic investments, the pension reform and digitation, he said.

The cabinet met this morning to debate the policy statement.

It is to present it to the Chamber on Wednesday before a vote of confidence. However, the Babis government has not managed to negotiate sufficient support so far. Babis said he would not hold further meetings with the parties' leaders ahead of the vote.

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