December 8, 2010 / 2:04 PM / in 8 years

Czech left launches court challenge of savings

PRAGUE, Dec 8 (Reuters) - The Czech leftist opposition has filed an appeal with the Constitutional Court demanding that it strike down the government’s key budget savings laws approved last month, party leaders said on Wednesday.

The Social Democrats have strongly protested against laws that cut back government subsidies for savings, tighten welfare and pay, and reducing sick leave benefits.

The laws have been built into the 2011 central state budget draft which aims to cut the public sector deficit to 4.6 percent of gross domestic product from 5.1 percent forecast this year.

“The government abused the legislative emergency procedure to narrow the right of the opposition during discussion on the whole package,” Social Democrat leader Bohuslav Sobotka told a news conference.

The challenge does not invalidate the laws which have already taken effect, pending the court decision which can take months. The lower house is expected to vote on the 2011 budget on Friday or next week. (Reporting by Robert Mueller, writing by Jan Lopatka; Editing by Maria Golovnina)

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