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Last Updated: Monday, 25 April, 2005, 08:27 GMT 09:27 UK
Scandal-hit Czech PM Gross quits
Czech Prime Minister Stanislav Gross (C), head of Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) Miroslav Kalousek (R) and the Freedom Union chairman (US-DEU) Pavel Nemec (L)
The Czech PM has been teetering on the brink for weeks
Czech Prime Minister Stanislav Gross has resigned after weeks of political crisis triggered by a row over the financing of his luxury apartment.

President Vaclav Klaus accepted the resignation, the Associated Press says. The coalition will now be dissolved.

The deputy leader of Mr Gross' Social Democrats, Jiri Paroubek, is expected to head a new coalition government.

The centre-left Social Democrats are in power with the Christian Democrats and the Freedom Union.

Mr Gross, 35, was Europe's youngest prime minister and his term of office one of its shortest.

He led the Czech Republic for just nine months before allegations of financial impropriety led to the collapse of his coalition.

The BBC's Rob Cameron in Prague says Mr Gross will now retreat to the sidelines to prepare his battered Social Democrats for elections next year.

His successor, Jiri Paroubek, served as regional development minister in Mr Gross's cabinet.

He is politically to the left of Mr Gross, but no major policy changes are expected from his government, our correspondent says.


SEE ALSO:
Czech PM faces corruption claim
02 Feb 05 |  Europe
Profile: Stanislav Gross
01 Jul 04 |  Europe
Timeline: Czech Republic
25 Aug 04 |  Country profiles


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