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ČSSD: Babiš should not be in renewed Czech cabinet

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Prague, May 3 (CTK) – Finance Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) should not be in a next Czech government if is formed on the basis of the current coalition composed of the Social Democrats (CSSD), ANO and the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), the CSSD board agreed on Wednesday.

The Social Democrats favour a continuation of the existing coalition, the board said.

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (CSSD) will convey the attitude to President Milos Zeman on Thursday, when he tenders him the government’s resignation.

Sobotka said he was ready for a compromise.

“I am ready for negotiations and for the search for a compromise, if it brings a solution,” Sobotka told journalists, adding that everyone had to yield.

He stressed that he had called a coalition meeting for next Wednesday.

Sobotka said the ANO’s attitude that insisted on Babis staying in the government was short-sighted.

“We want to talk about the nature of the compromise that could be tabled. Unlike ANO which says that insists on Babis staying in the government, I say that Social Democrats do not have such categoric demands when it comes to my presence in the government,” he added.

“This denies and ignores the developments of the past days,” Sobotka said.

“Babis’s problem was the reason of why I have decided for a radical solution, the government’s resignation,” he added.

Sobotka decided to offer the government’s resignation due to the dubious financial transactions and allegations of tax evasion of Babis, the second richest Czech.

Sobotka repeated that it was Babis who was behind the current crisis as he was unable to dispel the doubts about his business deals and tax evasion.

He pointed out Wednesday’s leak of the information on the recordings showing that as a media owner, Babis influenced a reporter for his own political purposes.

“It has turned out in the past hours what methods are used by Babis,” Sobotka said.

“He always claimed that he does not give any tasks to journalists in the media. It appeared today that Babis repeatedly lied in this affair,” he added.

“We are behind our leader, our prime minister,” a Social Democrat deputy chairman, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec, told journalists.

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