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PM: Babiš should apologise for words about gambling lobby

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Prague, Oct 13 (CTK) – Czech Finance Minister Andrej Babis, ANO movement head, should apologise for his statement that two deputies, from the government Social Democratic Party (CSSD) and Christian Democratic Party (KDU-CSL), have been manipulated by the gambling lobby, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said yesterday.
He said he does not believe that “such unfounded attacks” should be made within the government coalition.
“He (Babis) should definitely apologise. I do not know based on what he is attacking government coalition lawmakers this way. A decent person should apologise,” Sobotka said.
He said his party “does not attack coalition partners and does not spread slanders about coalition lawmakers.”
Sobotka said the government should focus on pushing through its programme and on fulfilling the promises it gave people.
“This is why we are in the government. We should not quarrel like under [former Civic Democratic prime minister Petr] Necas,” Sobotka said.
Jan Bartosek, Chamber of Deputies deputy chairman, one of the two lawmakers attacked by Babis, also said yesterday he expects Babis to apologise to him.
The government approved on Monday a bill on the taxation of gambling. Babis said before a meeting of the government’ coalition council at night Bartosek and Ladislav Sincl (CSSD) had been influenced by the gambling lobby.
Babis said the coalition does not function well now and that either it will act in unity, or it existence is meaningless.
Sincl dismissed Babis’s claim, Bartosek compared it with the practices of the communist secret police StB.
Babis was suspected of having cooperated with the StB during the communist regime, but a Slovak court exonerated him.
Sincl previously quarrelled with Babis over bill on insurance industry.
KDU-CSL deputy chairman Marian Jurecka said Babis did not keep his temper.
KDU-CSL chairman Pavel Belobradek said on Czech Television (CT) on Sunday ANO could have learnt the democratic principles during the two years since the early general election.

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