Prague, Oct 1 (CTK) – Czech regional governors asked President Milos Zeman to intervene in the debate on a bill that would send a higher portion of the income from the value-added tax (VAT) to the regions, the governors’ head Michal Hasek (Social Democrats, CSSD) said after a meeting with Zeman yesterday.
The centre-left government of Bohuslav Sobotka (CSSD) promised the regions that the respective law would take effect as of January, Hasek said.
He said he fears that the bill might not be passed by the end of the year as the lower house of parliament is still discussing it.
“Due to this, we asked the president to intervene,” Hasek said.
He said Zeman gave the governors a promise that he would join the discussion on the bill.
The regional governors asked Zeman to support them in road construction negotiations with the Transport Ministry and the government.
All regions face problems with the construction of main roads, Hasek said.
The governors and Zeman also talked about migration.
South Bohemia Region governor Jiri Zimola (CSSD) and Hasek, who governs the South Moravia Region, said they appreciated that the country is prepared to protect its border in case of a possible strong migration wave.
South Bohemia and South Moravia border on Austria.
“Nobody can think that he can get into the Czech Republic illegally,” Hasek said.
This has been the fourth meeting between the head of state and the regional governors since March 2013 when Zeman was inaugurated as president.
Hasek said Zeman’s frequent visits to the regions proved that he was interested in regional politics.
Before the late 2013 general election, Zeman made it clear that he would like Hasek to become next prime minister rather than Sobotka. After the election, Zeman supported an attempt to oust Sobotka from the post of the CSSD chairman. As this attempt failed, Hasek and his allies had to give up their posts in the party’s leadership and they are not represented in the present government.
Most of the governors of the 13 regions are Social Democrat politicians. Zeman invited Prague Mayor Adriana Krnacova (ANO) to the meeting held yesterday as well. The capital city is on the same level as a region.
Zeman said he did not invite the Prague mayor before because the post was held by Tomas Hudecek (TOP 09).
Zeman and Hudecek had different views on foreign policy. Hudecek was a strong critic of the Russian and Chinese regimes.
After a luncheon with Zeman, the governors participated in a meeting marking the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the regions in the country.