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Social Democrats must economise over lost court dispute

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Prague, April 4 (CTK) – Czech Social Democrats will have to cut their costs in all spheres, including their budget for the autumn regional and Senate elections, due to the court decision that they must pay 337 million crowns to former lawyer Zdenek Altner, deputy chairman for finances Martin Starec told CTK on Monday.

At the close of last week, Starec, was assigned to draft alternative solutions to the arisen situation.

Starec said the work on various alternatives was under way.

“I have to draw up a plan rising revenues and cutting expenditures,” Starec said, adding that he would submit the plan to party bodies.

The Social Democrats (CSSD) are to pay Altner a debt of 18.5 million crowns plus more than 300 million crowns in a contractual fine.

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 President Milos Zeman, who was chairman of the party at the time, signed it.

Starec did not want to elaborate, but only said the party would not sell any of its property.

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