Nuclear energy, the EU's new budgetary procedures and the consolidation of public finances featured prominently in talks between Slovak Prime Minister Iveta Radičová and Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas in Prague on Monday, October 18, the TASR newswire reported. This was Radicova's first official visit to the Czech Republic since her appointment as prime minister in July.
"We've been in informal touch on a regular basis but it was about time we met up officially," said Radičová, as quoted by TASR, explaining that the informal contact has included phone calls, letters, e-mails and text messages.
Nečas added that his talks with Radicova have affirmed a close proximity of views between the two countries and governments. Slight differences can be seen, however, in the countries' stances when it comes to penalties for states that fail to adhere to the EU's Stability and Growth Pact, even though Radičová said that she and Nečas did concur on the need to come up with a system of penalties.
According to Nečas, the differences are logical as they stem from the fact that Slovakia, unlike the Czech Republic, is a member of the eurozone. Both officials agreed that in order to ensure the proper functioning of such a system the penalties have to be automatic rather than imposed on an ad hoc basis. TASR wrote that both countries fully agree on the need to change the criteria for calculating national deficits so that they will be clear and objective.
Radičová's schedule during her trip includes talks with Czech President Václav Klaus and the chairs of both Houses of the Czech Parliament – Miloslava Nemcová of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate's Přemysl Sobotka. A meeting with former Czech president Václav Havel is on her agenda as well.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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19. Oct 2010 at 10:00