Petr Fiala’s first priority is to control the state budget

Bernadett Szabo, Reuters

Petr Fiala, chair of the ODS and candidate for Prime Minister for the Together coalition, is counting on the PirStan alliance to conduct a flash inventory of the ministries. So they will know in what state the ANO and ČSSD governments have left the state administration in.

“We have to take action, because here people were not told the truth, populist politics are done, and we have to reveal the real situation we are facing,” Fiala said. According to Fiala, the review  must be completed in a few weeks. In the lower house, the Together and PirStan coalition has a 108-vote majority. The coalition is preparing a new government program and is expected to present it in the constituent assembly meeting on November 8.

Outgoing Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) confirmed on Friday that if President Miloš Zeman would  entrust him with the formation of a government, he would refuse and stay in the opposition. On Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister Karel Havlíček (ANO) repeated the same sentiment. “ANO admits defeat. We had a good result, but it was not enough to surpass the five-coalition coalition, which ran over us. We leave with our heads held high. We have to prepare ourselves to be a fair but tough opposition,” he said.

A conflict is anticipated over the state budget, which was prepared by Babiš’s government but without the agreement of the Together coalition, which is planning to submit a new proposal.

“We cannot support this budget because we would be knowingly supporting further inflation and price increases,” Fiala said. Together’s basic agenda is to reduce  the state’s operating expenses. “I would give every minister the task of finding operational savings of six per cent in his or her ministry. If we had these savings, we would be able to reduce the budget deficit by almost 100 billion,” Fiala added further. He believes that the PirStan coalition will agree to their demand not to raise taxes.

Fiala stated that there is currently no discussion yet regarding the division of ministries, but it is possible that the number of ministers may be increased. According to his statements, Fiala supports the idea of a minister for the European agenda since the current administration has been unable to coordinate on EU matters, resulting in an inability to promote Czech interests in Brussels.

The Czech Republic will have the EU presidency for the second half of the next year, and Fiala believes there is a need to modify the approach and strengthen the nation’s European policy.