Czech president appoints new prime minister in ceremony behind glass

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Czech President Milos Zeman has appointed Petr Fiala as the country’s new prime minister.

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Mr Fiala, the leader of the Civic Democratic Party, was sworn in during an unusual ceremony in which Zeman sat in a plexiglass cubicle after testing positive for COVID-19.

Mr Fiala led a bloc of five centre-right and centre-right opposition parties in the October election, ousting prominent Premier Lady Babis and her allies.


The new prime minister has called on citizens to get vaccinated against the virus, and praised medical workers who are battling a surge in cases.

Currently, only 58.5% of Czechs are vaccinated against the coronavirus, compared to an average of 65.8% in the European Union, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.

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Under Fiala, the new government faces a range of issues, including a new wave of Covid-19 infections and an energy crisis after Bohemia Energy, one of the Czech Republic’s largest energy suppliers, collapsed this year. The provider had about 900,000 customers.

The government has also said that they plan to reduce a huge deficit. Amendment in the state budget for 2022,

Speaking about the challenges of the new government, Mr. Fiala said: “The new government has very difficult times and many challenges… I want it to be a government of change for the future.”

The inauguration ceremony was attended by President Zeman, who sat in a plexiglass cubicle in a wheelchair, and was escorted by a medic in full protective gear. President Zeman contracted COVID-19 after spending six weeks in hospital for an unrelated illness.


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