The Czech government survived a no-confidence vote on Friday after a marathon 22-hour debate in parliament amid opposition accusations of inaction against rising inflation and energy prices, reports Reuters.
The vote showed how Europe’s energy crisis is fueling political instability as rising electricity prices push up inflation, already at levels not seen in three decades.
The centre-right five-party coalition, led by Prime Minister Peter Fiala, has a majority of 108 seats in the 200-seat lower houseeasily defeating the two opposition parties that could not muster the necessary majority of 101 votes required for parliamentary votes.
MPs met on Thursday and debated the proposal throughout the night before voting at noon on Friday.
“Prime Minister Fiala and his ministers are unable to govern our country… the energy crisis is completely out of their control,” opposition leader and former prime minister Andrej Babis told MPs.
Billionaire Babis, who was defeated in an election last year, also accused the government of ties to people under investigation for alleged corruption in a scandal that forced the resignation of the head of the secret service.
A loss of confidence would be embarrassing for the Czech government, which heads the rotating presidency of the European Union, as the bloc seeks to maintain unity in its support for Ukraine while finding a way to stem a surge in energy prices as a result of reduced supplies. of Russian gas.
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Italy’s coalition government, led by former central banker Mario Draghi, collapsed in July in a confidence vote linked to a package aimed at responding to rising living costs.
The last time the Czech government fell in a vote of no confidence was in 2009, when the country last held the presidency of the EU.
The opposition has been critical of government initiatives to help households and businesses, including a plan announced this week to support energy-intensive firms with a program worth up to 28 billion Czech crowns ($1.15 billion).
Fiala said that his government has allocated a total of 177 billion kroner ($7.226 billion)or nearly 3% of gross domestic product, to help people cope with rising prices.