Czech president appoints new gov't

Czech President Milos Zeman on Friday appointed a new government headed by Prime Minister-designate Petr Fiala of the Civic Democratic Party (ODS), Xinhua reports.

Zeman appointed the cabinet during a ceremony at the presidential manor in Lany, west of capital Prague, according to the president's office.

Fiala, leader of the Together coalition, was appointed prime minister late last month. The coalition, formed by his ODS, the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) and TOP 09, came first in the October parliamentary election, narrowly beating the ANO party led by outgoing Prime Minister Andrej Babis.

The coalition later agreed to form a majority government with the alliance of Pirates party and Mayors and Independents (STAN), securing 108 seats in the 200-member lower house of the Czech parliament.

The new cabinet has 18 members. The ODS has six ministers, the KDU-CSL three, TOP 09 two, the Pirates three and the STAN four.

Zdenek Nekula, who will be agriculture minister, has not been appointed as he is in isolation with the novel coronavirus. Marian Jurecka, who is the new labor and social affairs minister, will also be temporarily in charge of the agriculture ministry, according to the Czech News Agency (CTK).

Fiala's coalition has decided to create the posts of the minister for European affairs and the minister for legislation, and renew the minister for science, with regard to the Czech presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2022, CTK reported.

Fiala said the government must start working immediately. "We face huge problems, be it COVID, energy prices, price increases, inflation and all that accompanies it," he was quoted by CTK as saying. 


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