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Czech Republic: President Has Doubts About New Economic Plan

Prague, 29 May 1997 (RFE/RL) - Czech President Vaclav Havel agreed today to name four new government ministers proposed as part of the coalition government's effort to deal with the country's economic turmoil, but expressed doubts about a new economic stabilisation plan.

Speaking after meeting the heads of the three ruling parties, Havel said he would like to believe that the reshuffled government will be able to carry out its program.

But he criticised the total absence of long-term objectives in the new plan, which involves budget cuts in 1997, state support for a tight central bank policy, sharp cuts in publicly financed imports, and a freeze in government salaries.

Prime minister Vaclav Klaus announced the stabilisation package and the new government lineup yesterday in response to a political and economic crisis which on Monday obliged the central bank to float the national currency.