On December 17, almost 70 days after the elections, President Miloš Zeman appointed the new government of the Czech Republic. It will be headed by Prime Minister Petr Fiala. The new officials are facing soaring inflation and energy costs, record-high budget deficits, and the ever-worsening epidemiological situation. The new Prime Minister emphasised he is aware of the complicated situation.
The new government built out of two coalitions, Together and Pirates-Mayors, is expected to be more EU oriented than its predecessor.
“We will assume our responsibilities and that’s why we started our work immediately. We agreed on the timeline of the governmental declaration so that it is finished at the beginning of January,” Prime Minister Petr Fiala said.
He also pledged to “put all of his strength, knowledge, and energy into fulfilling his party’s programme,” during the appointment ceremony held in Lany castle, hosted by the Czech head of state.
The Czech Republic has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases stronger than previous waves, though numbers have eased in the past weeks. The government wants to boost vaccinations while keeping curbs lighter than in the past.
“If the situation with the Omicron variant or another variant gets worse, the government is ready to act fast, in accordance with the recommendations of the experts,” the new Czech Health Minister Vlastimil Válek stressed.
Apart from improving the country’s situation amid the COVID-19 crisis, the coalition also reminded about the importance of their cooperation with “democracies” around the world. They plan to revise relations with Russia and China, two countries with which the current President has sought deeper ties in the past.