Prime Minister Petr Nečas (Civic Democrats, ODS) has downplayed his government’s decision not to sign the EU fiscal discipline treaty. Speaking at the “Economic Interests of the Czech Republic in the EU” conference on Monday, the center-right politician also said he was working towards closer EU integration in the form of finalization of the single market — which he lamented was not completed decades ago.
Arriving for the first day of talks at the summit of EU leaders, Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas (Civic Democrats, ODS) made it known that he is unlikely to sign the EU agreement of budget and fiscal discipline if the Czech Republic, as a country without the euro, is granted limited access to negotiations on common economic policy and fiscal integration.
Speaking on a political talk show on Sunday, Czech Minister of Finance Miroslav Kalousek (TOP 09) appeared comparatively upbeat about the prospects for the Czech economy in 2012. At the beginning of January, Kalousek spoke of planning to adjust government spending plans to accommodate a 2 percent decline in growth; now his ministry forecasts growth of several tenths of a percent.
The board of the Czech National Bank (ČNB) on Thursday agreed to the government’s request to extend a €1.5 billion loan to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on condition that the government provides guarantees against potential losses. At the same time the board stated that it does not recommend that the government provide the loan to the Fund.
The Czech government has approved extending a €1.5 billion (approximately Kč 38 billion) to the IMF, principally to help enable the fund to provide bailout cash for indebted Eurozone countries. The approved size of the loan — half what the EU had wanted from the Czechs — was proposed by Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek. The EU had called on Prague to put up €3.5 billion while many in government wanted to contribute nothing at all.
Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek (TOP 09) is due on Wednesday to present the government with the amount his ministry deems the Czech National Bank (ČNB) could contribute to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to protect indebted Eurozone member states from insolvency. Whereas the EU proposed Prague put up €3.5 billion, Kalousek says €1.5 billion is manageable; the central bank will have the final say.
The Czech government provisionally committed Wednesday to holding a referendum on whether or not to sign up to the EU’s new budget and fiscal agreement, despite opposition from TOP 09. A definitive decision will be taken when the exact terms of the treaty are finalized. The government also discussed providing a loan to the IMF but no decision was reached.
ČNB governor Miroslav Singer has repeated his grave doubts over Czech participation in a loan to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) aimed at helping to bolster the endangered eurozone. Singer says doubling the central bank’s exposure to the fund needed to be seriously considered in times of economic turbulence, pointing out uderlying worries about the IMF’s low-risk loan profile.
Prime Minister Petr Nečas (ODS) has ruled out taking a fast decision on whether the Czech Republic should stump up and pay into a €200 billion loan to help save the eurozone. Nečas said the government simply lacks all the facts needed to take a decision, adding he would heed advice from the Czech National Bank — whose governor has already come out against funding the loan through its reserves.