A series of tax reforming and simplifying measures were passed by the Czech government on Wednesday. Ironically, the man behind most of the changes, Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek, was absent, taking part in a boycott of Cabinet meetings to protest the continued employment of a Public Affairs (VV) nominee at the Education Ministry.
The Civic Democrats have called for their warring coalition partners TOP 09 and Public Affairs to come to their senses in an escalating row that it threatening to topple the Czech government. ODS leaders said it was irresponsible that a row sparked by comments by the controversial VV Education Minister political appointee Ladislav Bátora should put the government’s continued existence in question.
Wrangles over taxes and gaming machines blocked Czech government parties from sealing a new deal to keep them together. The smallest party in the coalition, Public Affairs (VV), is still threatening to walk out of the government if its demands are not met. That could leave the government led by Petr Nečas (Civic Democrats, ODS) without a majority — and the country facing early elections.
The fragile three-party Czech coalition government will meet to try and solve a simmering row over the share out of ministerial posts on Tuesday. The smallest party, Public Affairs (VV), wants more representation in the Cabinet after its numbers were cut but it’s not clear where places can be freed up by its grudging partners. VV’s threat to leave the governemnt and deprive it of a majority still lurks in the background.