Europe

Czech Republic a step closer to new government

PRAGUE (AP) — The leader of the first-place party in October's parliamentary election says he has agreed with two other parties on a policy program for a possible coalition government, after compromising on his proposal for higher corporate and personal taxes.

Social Democratic leader Bohuslav Sobotka on Wednesday told journalists there would be no tax increases next year, and that the partners also intend to reduce the tax on books and baby food and abolish fees for doctors' visits. The parties still have to agree on who will head various government ministries.

Sobotka's left-wing party won 50 seats in the 200-seat lower house of parliament. The new centrist ANO (YES) movement was second, with 47 seats. They agreed on a deal Wednesday with the Christian Democrats, who won 14 seats.

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