Prague, April 1 (CTK) – The Czech senior Social Democratic Party (CSSD) will most probably take out a loan to pay some 340 million crowns to former lawyer Zdenek Altner which the Prague Municipal Court ordered it on Thursday, CSSD deputy group head Roman Sklenak told CTK on Friday.
The CSSD is to pay Altner a debt of 18.5 million crowns plus more than 300 million crowns in a contractual fine.
Colosseum company analyst Frantisek Bostl told CTK that the payment of the sum will not threaten the CSSD’s existence.
Sklenak said no specific proposals for the payment of the sum were made at an extraordinary meeting of the party’s board on Thursday because the party has not yet received the verdict in writing.
But he told CTK that the loan is the most probable way of dealing with the situation.
“Social Democracy does not have 340 million crowns at its disposal, but we suppose that it would be no problem of gaining a loan in view of the party’s property,” Sklenak said.
Interior Minister Milan Chovanec (CSSD) spoke similarly. “In the current situation, this will definitely be no problem. Social Democracy has an extensive property and credit interests are low now, so money can be obtained cheaply,” Chovanec told Lidovky.cz.
Sklenak said negotiations will continue next Wednesday by when Martin Starec, the party’s deputy chairman for financial management, is to submit variants of tackling the situation.
Sklenak said the CSSD is ready to accept the court verdict.
Party spokeswoman Eva Gregorova told CTK that the date of the next meeting of the board will mainly depend on the return of Prime Minister and CSSD chairman Bohuslav Sobotka from his current journey to the United States, where he is attending a nuclear summit.
Bostl said the payment of 337 million crowns should not endanger the CSSD. According to the annual financial report for 2015, the CSSD had revenues of more than 380 million crowns and in 2014 it was even 455 million.
Bostl said if the party took out a loan, its debt would rise to more than 500 million crowns.
Given the party’s financial situation, the case would affect its internal operation, but not weaken its position on the Czech political scene, Bostl said.
The dispute started in 1997, when the CSSD signed an agreement with Altner on legal aid in the case of the Lidovy dum building, the party’s seat in Prague. Altner was to get a contractual fee amounting to 10 percent of the value of Lidovy dum if the right of the CSSD to it were secured.
According to the current statement by the party, the contract was negotiated by former deputy chairman Ivo Svoboda and Milos Zeman, who was chairman of the party at the time, signed it.