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Babiš doesn’t expect German developments to affect Czech economy

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Prague, Nov 20 (CTK) – Germany is heading for a minority government or early elections now that the the post-election talks between the CDU/CSU, the FDP and the Greens have collapsed, Czech ANO leader Andrej Babis said on Monday, adding that he does not expect the German events to influence Czech economy.

“Germany seems to be heading for a minority government, maybe even to early elections after some time,” Babis, whom President Milos Zeman recently asked to launch negotiations on forming a new Czech cabinet, told CTK.

Babis referred to the situation in Germany following the September general election, which was won by the conservative CDU/CSU bloc represented by Angela Merkel.

Czech outgoing Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek (Social Democrats, CSSD) said the failing attempt to form a German government is a bad piece of news, since a stable cabinet in Germany is important for its neighbours, and not only for them.

“I expect [the German developments] to have no impact on either markets or Czech economy. In Germany, a big strength of centrist parties persists, along with [parties’] consensus on fiscal and essential economic issues. Discords have emerged over migration, radical demands by Green ecologists, questions surrounding the EU’s further integration and similar issues,” Babis said.

Civic Democrat (ODS) chairman Petr Fiala pointed out a difference in the way coalition talks have been led in Germany and the Czech Republic.

“The German example shows that honestly and consistently conducted coalition negotiations are a demanding task, and how important a role the other constitutional institutions play in periods of government instability,” Fiala said, adding that he does not expect the German situation to affect the Czech Republic.

“Germany is a stable democracy that will settle its government-related problems sooner or later,” he said.

Jan Farsky, head of the Czech Mayors and Independents (STAN) movement, said the German post-election negotiations may continue between other parties now.

“Coalition talks go on unless an early election date is set, however difficult and nearly hopeless they may be,” Farsky told CTK.

Prague and Berlin are “both a part of the EU, but still I do not expect any strong effect [of the German developments]. Everything has been going on in accordance with democratic rules,” Farsky added.

TOP 09 deputy chairman Marek Zenisek, too, mentioned the possible start of further talks between the CDU/CSU and the Social Democrats (SPD), for example,

“I don’t feel that something unusual is happening in Europe. It is still the turn of negotiations with the SPD and then possibly an early election,” Zenisek told CTK.

He mentioned a different way of conducting post-election talks in Germany and in the Czech Republic, where the general election took place in October.

“In Germany, they [the CDU/CSU] are at least trying hard to form a majority government supported by parliament and striving to achieve the goal. In our country, it [ANO as the election winner] has declared beforehand that it will form a minority government and rule without [parliament’s] confidence,” Zenisek said.

TOP 09 chairman Miroslav Kalousek pointed out that the German negotiations lasted two months.

“When the information appeared on Sunday that the negotiations ended inconclusively, it did not occur to Angela Merkel, the chancellor-designate, to go to the German president and tell him: they [other parties] do not want to play with me, so I will form a minority government and rule without [parliament’s] confidence,” Kalousek said.

In the Czech Republic, this happened after a mere one week of pretended negotiations, he said, referring to Babis and his nascent one-party minority government.

Christian Democrat (KDU-CSL) chairman Pavel Belobradek wold not anticipate what impact the termination of the coalition talks in Germany may have. “The FDP’s departure from the negotiations was strange. Let’s wait to see further developments,” Belobradek told CTK.

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