Czech center-left leader Sobotka appointed prime minister

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 17, 2014 9:16 AM

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Czech President Milos Zeman appointed Social Democrat leader Bohuslav Sobotka as prime minister on Friday, opening the way for the formation of a center-left coalition cabinet in the coming days.

Sobotka, 42, aims to turn away from fiscal austerity policies to help the central European country speed up recovery from a lengthy recession, allowing the budget deficit to remain around 3 percent of gross domestic product.

Sobotka plans to return the country closer to the European mainstream after his moderately euroskeptic predecessors, but will not set any firm target date for adopting the euro for the time being. His spending plans will be limited by coalition partners who are refusing any tax hikes.

(Reporting by Robert Muller; Writing by Jan Lopatka; Editing by Alison Williams)