Czech President Names Finance Minister to End Government CrisisBy and
Czech President Milos Zeman appointed a new finance minister on Wednesday, ending a month-long government crisis that escalated the conflict between the two main rivals for October’s general elections.
Zeman formally dismissed billionaire Finance Minister Andrej Babis and named Ivan Pilny, a former corporate executive and now a lawmaker for Babis’s ANO party, as his replacement at a ceremony in Prague.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka sought Babis’s removal, accusing him of past tax evasion. The second-richest Czech has repeatedly rejected these allegations. The two have been at odds for months, with their animosity escalating at a time when Sobotka’s Social Democrats are trailing ANO by a wide margin in opinion polls. The three-party coalition will remain in power after the reshuffle at the Finance Ministry.