Government meeting, June 8, 2022 in Prague. From left, Minister of Defense Jana Černochová, Minister of Finance Zbyněk Stanjura and first from right, Prime Minister Petr Fiala.
Prague/Liberec – Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) does not expect the leaders of the government coalition to agree on the final form of the consolidation package today. Negotiations at the highest political level are just beginning today, he told reporters after the cabinet meeting and before the coalition meeting. He repeated that the goal of the package is to reduce the deficit of the state budget for next year by 70 billion crowns, the form of the measure should be known in the coming weeks.
Fiala confirmed the earlier statement of Finance Minister Zbyňek Stanjura (ODS) that most consolidation measures must be implemented on the expenditure side of the budget. According to him, experts have calculated the effects of all the proposals that came up with the National Economic Council of the Government (NERV), independent economists or coalition parties, and now it will be up to the coalition leaders to assess them.
The Prime Minister refused to comment on individual measures. “Such a debate is irresponsible, because the whole thing must form one comprehensible and interconnected whole,” he said. According to him, the government's goal is to take measures that will not significantly harm any social group.
The chairman of the KDU-ČSL parliamentary club, Marek Výborný, also said when he arrived at the coalition meeting that he does not expect an agreement today. He pointed out that there is already agreement on roughly two-thirds of the planned consolidation measures, politicians will solve the parameters of the remaining ones. However, he emphasized that until there is a final agreement, the matter cannot be considered closed. According to him, the resulting package will be jointly presented by the prime minister and the chairmen of the coalition parties.
According to the chairman of the ODS parliamentary club, Mark Benda, today's meeting will probably be long, but he could not estimate whether the coalition will find an agreement today or at the meeting next week. He did not want to comment on individual austerity measures.
Top 09 deputy head Jan Jakob came to the meeting saying that he considers the goal to be to find savings of 70 billion crowns on the expenditure side. He identified the search for savings in national subsidies in the order of tens of billions of crowns as one of the key items.
According to Jakub Michálek, the chairman of the pirate deputies, it is not yet possible to estimate what the ratio of savings and new budget revenues will be in the consolidation package. He considers it essential that the savings are not only one-off, but also manifest themselves in the following years.
President Petr Pavel said today during his visit to the Liberec region that savings must be sought primarily on the side of state expenditures. “Given how expensive the state administration is, the state. Only afterwards should we look for ways to increase revenues. So far, efforts are directed more towards increasing revenues,” said Pavel. According to him, the presidential office will follow the same principles of savings, if any are generally agreed upon in the state administration.