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ČSSD had almost 40-million-crown loss in 2017

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Prague, March 28 (CTK) – The Czech Social Democratic Party (CSSD) had a loss of 39.8 million crowns last year mainly due to its poor results in the autumn general election, its financial director Martin Starec (CSSD) told reporters on Wednesday.

The CSSD gained mere 7.3 percent of the vote in the election to the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the Czech parliament, last October and its deputy group in the 200-seat Chamber shrank from 50 to 15 members, due to which the party got less money from the state budget for votes and mandates.

The CSSD’s revenues amounted to 184.4 million crowns, which was less than four-fifths of what the party expected last year. On the contrary, the expenditures were 224.2 million crowns, which was 94.5 percent of the presupposed spendings, Starec said.

The CSSD originally calculated with the revenues and expenditures of 237 million crowns, but it needed almost 40 million to reach a balanced budget eventually.

“The overall financial management result was primarily affected by the one-off loss of finances for votes in the elections and a long-term decrease in contributions for the MPs’ mandates,” Starec said.

The CSSD, which was a senior ruling party in the previous coalition cabinet, gained 142.3 million crowns from the state budget last year, which made up more than three-quarters of all revenues. The party also gained 21 million for leasing and services and almost 4.8 million from donors. It collected a total of 16.3 million crowns in membership fees.

The party’s work and operation cost 81.4 million crowns, while 56.4 million crowns were spent on the salaries of its 115 employees, Starec said.

“The costs of the elections to the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate amounted to 85.7 million crowns in total,” he added.

The CSSD faced two proceedings before the Office Supervising the Financing of Political Parties and Movements. It has won one, while the other still continues.

Moreover, the dispute about the compensation for the late defence lawyer Zdenek Altner has not been closed yet. The CSSD was to pay him 338 million crowns for his services, according to a court verdict. The inheritance proceedings continue after Altner’s death in 2016, and this is why the Supreme Court cannot decide on the CSSD’s petition for an appellate review in this case.

“The Supreme Court can make a decision only after the circle of heirs is set,” Starec said.

So far the CSSD has only paid to two people to whom Altner owed money, according to the court.

The CCSD’s general election leaders in particular regions were among the major benefactors. Jiri Behounek donated 190,000 crowns to the party, Jan Birke 130,000 crowns, while Jan Chvojka and Michaela Marksova sent some 100,000 crowns each. Former CSSD chairman and ex-PM Bohuslav Sobotka donated about 80,000 crowns and former education minister Katerina Valachova and former interior minister Milan Chovanec 50,000 crowns each.

This year, the CSSD should have a balanced budget with the revenues and expenditures of 137 million crowns each. The party has been fulfilling the plan in the first months of 2018.

The CSSD plans to earmark 24 million crowns for the campaign before this autumn local elections, Starec added.

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