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Revolt in ODS threatens to cause fall of government

29. 8. 2012
Group of MPs from government ODS prepared to vote against tax hikes for the rich next week

Prague - Next week, the Czech lower chamber will vote on increasing taxes for the rich, and there is a very real threat that a group of MPs from the senior government Civic Democratic Party (ODS) led by Petr Tluchor will vote against the government bill, which could lead to the fall of the government of Prime Minister Petr Necas.

A reliable source from the top tiers of the ODS said to Aktualne.cz that Tluchor plans to vote against the bill. Two independent sources confirmed this.

"At this moment, it is really a very real possibility," said one of them.

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Aktualne.cz learned that the revolt is backed by some influential figures from the ODS.

Two sources from TOP 09, a junior member of the ruling coalition, said to Aktualne.cz that the conservative party's leadership informally discussed the possibility of the  government's fall.

The tax reform bill is seen as crucial by Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek, who is also a TOP 09 deputy chairman.

"Without this legislation it is not possible to further cut the government budget deficit," said Minister Kalousek.

Rebel MP Petr Tluchor and his group in the Chamber of Deputies refused to comment on their intentions.

Two weeks ago, the Czech Senate vetoed the bill, and the lower chamber now needs an absolute majority (at least 101 of the 200 votes) in order to pass the legislative. This means that negative votes by three or four government deputies would suffice to reject the bill.

The VAT rate hike and higher taxes for the rich are already included in the draft budget for 2013, currently in preparation. If the bill is rejected, the Czech budget deficit will increase.

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autor: Jan Nemec | 29. 8. 2012

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