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ODS says ANO’s presence in future gov’t unacceptable

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Prague, June 22 (CTK) – Andrej Babis as well as his ANO movement is unacceptable in the incumbent and in any future government, Petr Fiala, chairman of the rightist opposition Civic Democratic Party (ODS), told CTK today.

He criticised Babis, a billionaire and former finance minister who was dismissed in May over his alleged suspicious business deals and suspected influencing of the media he owned, for failing to fulfil his promises while in the ministerial post.

A general election will be held on October 20-21. ANO is a favourite.

Fiala said Babis has done nothing to fulfil the promises he made when entering the government in 2014.

“It is always dangerous in politics, if something is valid in the morning, but not in the evening,” Fiala said.

Unlike Babis, who only makes promises to people, the ODS offers a real programme to benefit people, Fiala said.

He said the ODS, a former government member, which is now the most popular rightist party, wants to be pushing for raising defence spending to 2 percent of GDP, the acceleration of military purchases and a better recruitment of soldiers and police.

When the Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999, it pledged to spend at least 2 percent of its GDP. This year, the country will spend on defence 1.08 percent of GDP.

The current centre-left government of Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) has pledged to increase the defence spending to 1.4 percent of GDP by 2020 and to 2 percent of GDP around 2025. However, the draft state budget for next year and the budgetary outlook for 2019-2020 does not include such an increase in defence spending.


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