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Czech prime minister quits

Interview

The Czech Republic’s main ruling party was due to meet on Monday to search for a candidate to succeed Prime Minister Petr Necas who quit on Sunday after a spying and bribery scandal that centred on his closest aide. Necas was due to formally hand in his resignation to President Milos Zeman on Monday afternoon, starting the formal process of replacing the entire centre-right cabinet which fell automatically with the prime minister. Necas quit after prosecutors charged the head of his office, Jana Nagyova, with illegally ordering agents to spy on people including Necas’s wife, according to lawyers for two defendants in the case. Necas said he was not aware of any surveillance. The outgoing prime minister’s Civic Democratic party aims to form a new government with their current two coalition partners to finish the regular four-year term expiring next May. Zeman will meet the leaders of political parties starting on Friday to hash out the options, he told reporters after receiving Necas’s resignation. Necas will remain as caretaker Prime Minister until Zeman names his successor. Necas leaves a $217 billion economy mired in the longest recession since current records started in 1996. He focused on austerity, which hurt household consumption while businesses curbed spending amid the euro-area debt crisis.

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