Bloomberg News

Czech Premier Necas Survives His Fourth Confidence Vote

July 18, 2012

Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas survived a no-confidence vote today, his fourth since taking power in 2010, as his coalition held together amid corruption allegations surrounding Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek.

The opposition Social Democrats failed in their attempt to topple the Cabinet with 89 deputies voting in favor of the motion, short of the 101 ballots needed to oust the administration, unofficial results from a live broadcast of the proceedings in Prague on state television showed.

Necas asked for the support of lawmakers “who don’t want political instability and want to continue with reforms.” Measures to narrow the fiscal gap, including an overhaul of the pension system, have helped curb funding costs. The yield on the Czech Eurobond maturing in 2021 fell to a record-low 2.592 percent today. The koruna fell 0.12 percent against the euro, closing at 25.275.

Governments are crumbling across Europe as German Chancellor Angela Merkel pushes for austerity to prevent the euro area from breaking up. Necas’s three-party coalition fell apart in April following clashes over spending cuts, personnel issues and corruption allegations as the administration prepares legislation to cut the budget deficit to less than the European Union’s limit of 3 percent of economic output in 2013.

Necas’s coalition, which has 93 of the lower house’s 200 seats, has held on to power with backing from deputies who split from the former governing partner Public Affairs party, which splintered in April.

The Social Democrats, who lead in all opinion polls with elections scheduled for 2014, called for the no-confidence vote amid allegations Kalousek tried to pressure the police in an investigation of an army procurement tender. Kalousek has denied any wrongdoing.

While the economy returned to a recession in the second half of last year, Necas’s 20-month-old administration is pushing through tax increases and savings on pensions totaling 57 billion koruna ($3 billion) to meet the goal of reducing the gap to 2.9 percent of economic output next year from 3.1 percent last year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lenka Ponikelska in Prague at lponikelska1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net


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