Inauguration of the new Czech Government led by conservative Petr Fiala

Conservative politician Petr Fiala, in a file image. EFE / EPA / MARTIN DIVISEK

Prague, Dec 17 (EFE) .- The new Government of the Czech Republic, a European coalition of five formations with the conservative politician Petr Fiala at the head, took office today in Prague, in an act televised by the public channel CT24.
This alliance of conservative and liberal forces and the progressive Pirate Party, was forged after the October elections, in which Fiala narrowly imposed the then prime minister, the populist Andrej Babis.
The coalition has 108 seats in a lower house of 200 deputies.
The coming to power of this coalition has been marked by the situation of the Czech president, the social democrat Milos Zeman, who was hospitalized a day after the elections for liver failure.
Later, he suffered a covid infection, forcing him to exercise his responsibilities, such as previous interviews with the head of the Government and the ministers, isolated in a Plexiglas booth.
Fiala, who leads the historic Citizen Democratic Party (ODS), a key formation in the Czech transition of the 90s of the last century, returns to power after two legislatures in which the Executive was in the hands of a coalition of social democrats and populists.
The new prime minister, a 57-year-old historian and political scientist who has spent a long time in the opposition, has managed to unite a diverse coalition with a dialogue style and the search for consensus.
Stability in public accounts, the fight against the pandemic, pension reform, a school system at the height of the 21st century and improving road infrastructure are the priorities of the new Executive, which has increased the number of ministries from 14 to 17.
Among the ministers stands out the Foreign Minister, Jan Lipavský, from the Pirate Party, a Europeanist who has announced that the defense of human rights will be one of his priorities and that in the past he has been very critical of China and Russia.
President Zeman, who advocates fostering economic ties with Beijing and Moscow, initially threatened to veto him, forcing the prime minister to warn that he would appeal to the Constitutional Court if that step was taken.

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