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Klaus: Czech boom not due to current gov’t

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Prague, Jan 3 (CTK) – The current economic boom is due to the latest developments, not to any work of the government of Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD), former Czech president Vaclav Klaus told the commercial television station Prima yesterday.
Klaus, a trained economist, criticised the government for excessive regulation of the economy.
Sobotka said Klaus had no right to criticise the government steps as hundreds of state-owned companies had been stolen under the privatisation programme of Klaus’s government (1992-1998).
Klaus, Czech president from 2003 to 2013, said it was logical that after a six-year stagnation a certain growth had occurred in the Czech economy, but “this is not immediately associated in any way with Sobotka’s government.”
Sobotka said he was wondering why Klaus did not prefer to keep silent.
“He is not the one who should give any advice. I remember very well how it used to look like. Under his government, the light was turned off and in the wild privatisation, hundreds of state-owned companies were stolen,” Sobotka said.
Klaus went on to criticise the current government for the continued state regulations that were not much distant from the Communist planned economy.
“We have an overregulated economy, which is lethal for free enterprise,” Klaus said.
He said he was against the law on electronic registration of sales Sobotka’s government wants to enact and the absolute smoking ban in restaurants.
“Banning means Communist planning in a different veil,” Klaus said.
On the other hand, the government’s plans to open the Czech economy to eastern markets and to partially lift the limits of brown-coal mining are reasonable, Klaus said.

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