Czech President Klaus appoints interim government
PRAGUE (Reuters) - Czech President Vaclav Klaus appointed a caretaker administration on Friday which will complete the central European country's term as European Union president and lead it to an early election in October.
The appointment of the technocrat cabinet led by Jan Fischer, the country's chief statistician, ends a political crisis sparked by a parliamentary no-confidence vote which overthrew the centre-right administration of Mirek Topolanek in March.
Fischer has said he had no long-term political ambitions and would focus on completing the EU presidency ending in June and drawing up the 2010 state budget, a tough task amid an economic downturn.
Analysts warn a pre-election spending spree and promises could further bloat the budget gap next year above the 4.5 percent of gross domestic product estimated by the Finance Ministry this year.
The government will be dependent on parliamentary backing from Topolanek's centre-right Civic Democrats and the leftist Social Democrats, the biggest political parties that will fight out the autumn election.
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KOREA FERRY TRAGEDY
The captain of a South Korean ferry that capsized two days ago rushed back to the bridge after it started listing severely and tried in vain to right the vessel, one of the helmsmen on the ship said on Friday. Full Article