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PM, president agree on 2016 budget priorities

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Prague, Aug 31 (CTK) – Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) and President Milos Zeman have agreed that security spending and support for investment are the priorities of next year’s state budget, Sobotka said after talks with Zeman yesterday.
He said the state should have enough money to provide security, especially with respect to the crises that the European Union has been facing.
The second priority were measures boosting the economy, he said.
Sobotka said the president will take part in the next government meeting scheduled for September 9 that will start dealing with the 2016 state budget.
He said he expects Zeman to comment on the present version of the draft budget.
Finance Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) proposed a budget with a 70-billion-crown deficit. The government must approve the budget and submit it to the Chamber of Deputies by the end of September.
Babis discussed the draft budget with individual ministers in the past several weeks. In late July, he talked about it with President Zeman, and Zeman supported the draft state budget, expect for a few critical remarks.
Babis recently said the projected deficit is under a tremendous pressure, mainly because of the additional demands presented by the defence and interior ministries in reaction to the new security situation related to the migration crisis.
In August, Babis agreed to give three billion crowns more to the Interior Ministry and 1.5 billion crowns to the Defence Ministry.
($1=23.999 crowns)

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