Record budget deficit of 500 billion crowns uncertain

The government failed to negotiate support for a further widening of the deficit.

The increase must be approved by parliament - but even the Communists who tolerate the minority government of the ANO movement and the Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) are against the proposal of a 500 billion budget deficit. They are willing to accept a deficit of 450 billion crowns.

Therefore, the government postponed the discussion and seeks to get support within a week. According to Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, if the cabinet fails to do so, it won't be able to afford further support for municipalities, businesses or social services.

This is the third time the government is asking Parliament's lower house to enlarge the deficit due to the coronavirus crisis. So far it has risen from 40 to 300 billion crowns.

President Miloš Zeman said that he would support the newly planned deficit - on a condition that most of the extra money would be spent on investments.