Two Czech parties that have proposed working together in a ruling coalition pledged to keep the country out of the euro area, boost investment in roads and retirement homes and cut taxes on some services, including sales of draught beer.
After maneuvering for six months following inconclusive elections, caretaker Prime Minister Andrej Babis’s ANO party and the Social Democrats published a draft declaration outlining their potential minority government’s priorities through 2021. The Social Democrats have yet to hold a party-wide referendum on the tie-up and, if the party affirms, the coalition will seek a parliamentary vote of confidence.
Photographer: Martin Divisek/Bloomberg
In the document, published by the CTK news service late on Thursday, the two former coalition partners pledged not to pursue euro membership because they want to keep the country’s independent monetary policy and avoid the costs and economic risks associated with the single currency. The nation, which overwhelmingly relies on the euro area for exports and foreign investment, pledged to give up the koruna when it joined the European Union in 2004, but the accession treaty stipulates no deadline for the switch.
“The government currently doesn’t see the possibility of adopting the common European currency,” ANO and CSSD said in the statement. “However, we will actively participate, to the maximum possible degree, in the current discussions on the EU’s deepening economic and monetary union, with an emphasis on consistent observance and enforcement of budgetary responsibility on the level of individual euro-area member states.”
The document starts with a pledge to fight the EU’s mandatory refugee-relocation program -- a topic that spawned anti-Muslim rhetoric in pre-election campaigning. The other priorities include spending more money on highways and other infrastructure, raising pensions and teachers’ salaries,...