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ČSSD leadership approves taking 338-million-crown loan

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Prague, April 6 (CTK) – The senior government Czech Social Democrats’ (CSSD) leadership approved taking a 338-million-crown loan on Wednesday to pay 337 million to their former lawyer Zdenek Altner by Monday, according to CTK sources.

The party leadership also debated austerity measures.

This year alone, the CSSD wants to save 55 million crowns. The economies will affect its campaign ahead of the autumn regional and Senate elections.

“Everything has been approved and prepared. The money is ready to be sent,” CSSD first deputy chairman Milan Chovanec told reporters after the leadership’s meeting.

“The the final decision on this matter will be made by the central executive committee,” he said, referring to the committee’s meeting scheduled for Saturday.

The CSSD representatives refused to release more details.

Martin Starec, CSSD deputy head in charge of finances, said the leadership had unanimously adopted the proposal of 20 points with the aim to increase the party’s revenues and decrease overall expenditures to gain 55 million crowns in total.

The CSSD received the court verdict on its lost dispute with Altner on Wednesday, and it must pay him the huge sum within three working days since then, that is by Monday, April 11.

A court recently ruled that the Social Democrats must pay a reward of 18.5 million to Altner for his services plus a contractual fine of 318 million.

Altner helped the CSSD successfully defend the ownership of its Lidovy dum headquarters in Prague centre in the late 1990s. The contract granted Altner a contractual reward worth 10 percent of the lucrative real estate’s value if he succeeded in pushing through the party’s claim to it.

The CSSD wants to file a petition for an appellate review with the Supreme Court, but this does not postpone the verdict’s effect.

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