The Communist Party insists on reducing the defense budget – the Governement refuses to comply

The Communist Party insists on reducing the defense budget – the Governement refuses to comply
14 / 12 / 2020, 10:00

The Communists insist on their demand to cut 10 billion crowns from the budget of the Ministry of Defense and transfer them to the Government's budget reserve to help the country fight the coronavirus pandemic, as they say. If their request is not met, the Communist Party (KSČM) will not support the draft state budget for next year. As many have pointed out: our times bring unusual surprises, such as a NATO army facing potential reduction of efforts due to a local communist party populism.

The Communists continue to demand to reduce the defense budget by 10 billion crowns, they want the funds be transferred to the Government's budget reserve. Such a conclusion resulted from the meeting of the Chairman of the KSČM Vojtěch Filip with the Minister of Finance Alena Schillerová (ANO). As before, and accordingly to the Prime Minister’s policy, she rejected the Communists' request.

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After the meeting, Filip stated that even though Schillerová was convincing, it was not enough to change the communist position. According to Filip, the Communists are ready for another possible meeting with the Minister of Defense Lubomír Metnar, who did not attend the meeting.

Babiš's government thus still does not have secured support for the draft state budget, ie the most important law of the year, and there is a risk to have to manage the budget provisionally. Schillerová warned against this, she said it was deepening the current economic crisis.

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš also opposed the cuts in the defense budget several times. At the Army Command Assembly in November, he clearly stood up for the Army and criticized the KSČM's request. "I reject any attempt not to increase the budget, we finally need to get rid of outdated Russian technology," Babish said at the command assembly. The prime minister further stated that he was fighting for the defense budget.

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Likewise, the Minister of Defense Metnar also opposed the demand of the Communists, according to which, on the one hand, Army cuts threaten the Czech Republic's defenses and the modernization of the Army would also stop.

The state budget for 2021 is to be approved by the Chamber of Deputies on Wednesday, December 16, and communist votes are necessary for its approval. There is little time left for further negotiations between the Government officials and the KSČM.

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