European union flag against parliament in Brussels, Belgium via iStock / artJazz

Czech opposition parties urge PM Andrej Babiš to back EU coronavirus recovery plan

Deputies from the Czech Pirate Party, Christian Democrats, TOP 09, and STAN have called on the PM to support the EU plan for economic revival

Prague, July 9 (CTK) – The deputies for Czech opposition parties Pirates, Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL), TOP 09 and Mayors and Independents (STAN) have called on Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) to support the EU plan for economic revival after the coronavirus outbreak at the EU summit next week, they told journalists today.

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Not only the Czech Republic’s immediate financial benefit, but also the condition of further European economies, which are vital export markets, should be taken into account, they said.

“We believe that we have to consider not only Czech interests, but also examine whether the recovery plan will help resuscitating the economy in the whole of the EU,” deputy Helena Langšádlová (TOP 09) said.

The 750 billion euros from the prepared recovery fund should be used to start economic growth and to improve the competitiveness of the EU as a whole.

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“As an export economy, we cannot be indifferent to the situation of the economy in Spain, Italy or Germany. There are jobs, too. If we only focus on the Czech Republic, this will backfire in a few months or years,” the chairman of the European committee, Ondřej Benešík (KDU-ČSL), said.

Benešík said since four-fifths of the Czech export were shipped to European markets, and therefore the Czech Republic also economically depended on the local economic situation.

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Deputy František Kopřiva (Pirates) said in the talks on the recovery fund, the Czech Republic should act constructively and not threaten to veto it.

It is legitimate that Babiš wants to negotiate more money for the Czech Republic, but the Czech position should not be limited to haggling and it should also express solidarity with the countries most hit by the coronavirus.

“It is in the Czech Republic’s interest that Europe recovers as soon as possible. We consider this a pragmatic investment in European markets as well as the future of the EU,” Kopřiva said.

The deputies also called on the government to use the money from the fund to transform the Czech economy into a modern one, based on innovations.

The Czech Republic has adopted a reserved position on the fund. Babiš has repeatedly criticized the proposal that its money should be distributed according to the jobless rate in the past years.

The Czech Republic has long the lowest jobless rate in the EU.

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