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Czech News in English » News » Politics » PM meets education, agriculture ministers

PM meets education, agriculture ministers

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Prague, Nov 22 (CTK) – Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka had meetings with Education Minister Katerina Valachova (both Social Democrats, CSSD) and Agriculture Minister Marian Jurecka (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) today, within his planned talks with all members of his cabinet one year before its end.

The general election is due next autumn. Sobotka said previously he wants the government to work until the last moment. However, ANO and the CSSD are election rivals and the election campaign may affect the government’s operation.

Sobotka told journalists that Valachova should focus on drawing subsidies from European funds, a reform of the regional school system and the professional rules for teachers.

The government will try to push through a 10-percent increase in salaries of teachers next year so that the teachers’ pay rise to the level of 130 percent of the average wage in 2020, Sobotka said.

He praised Valachova for introducing an amendment to the law on universities and for meeting the demand for more vacancies in kindergartens.

The priorities of Jurecka’s ministry are the early payment of subsidies to farmers and the bills on biofuel and wine-making, Sobotka said.

He said Jurecka paid enough attention to food quality and food labels and started discussing the impact of climate change and draught.

Sobotka will meet Culture Minister Daniel Herman (KDU-CSL) on Thursday and Regional Development Minister Karla Slechtova (for ANO) on Friday.

After all the individual talks, Sobotka wants to meet the leaders of his coalition partners, Finance Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) and Deputy PM for Science Pavel Belobradek (KDU-CSL).

Babis and Belobradek repeatedly rejected his call that they consider replacements of some of their ministers. ANO has been the most popular party for many months and Babis has ambition to become next prime minister.

Sobotka decided to replace Health Minister Svatopluk Nemecek with Miloslav Ludvik and Human Rights Minister Jiri Dienstbier with Jan Chvojka (all CSSD). President Milos Zeman will officially appoint the new ones next week.


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