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Last Updated: Monday, 25 April, 2005, 16:59 GMT 17:59 UK
New Czech PM named to end crisis
Jiri Paroubek - appointed PM on Monday
Jiri Paroubek is seen as more left-wing than Mr Gross
The Czech president has named a new prime minister - Jiri Paroubek - after weeks of crisis forced Stanislav Gross to step down.

Mr Paroubek, 52, is currently regional development minister and deputy leader of Mr Gross's Social Democrats (CSSD).

He will be the country's third prime minister in nine months.

Mr Gross - at 35 Europe's youngest prime minister - resigned on Monday, hit by a long-running furore over the financing of his luxury apartment.

The centre-left CSSD and its coalition partners, the Christian Democrats and the Freedom Union, agreed that the new cabinet would include four new names, but that all key ministers would remain in their posts.

Allegations of financial impropriety led to the collapse of Mr Gross's coalition. He denied any wrongdoing in the apartment affair.

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.

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

The coalition partners said the new 18-member cabinet would be "pro-EU".

Mr Paroubek's new team was approved by President Vaclav Klaus. They now require approval in the lower chamber of parliament within 30 days.

'Old-new government'

"The government, which was paralysed for some four months by the crisis, is now behind us," President Klaus said.

"This is an old-new government, and I hope it won't expect 100 days to prove itself, but that it will begin to work right away," he added.

Agriculture Minister Jaroslav Palas and minister without portfolio Jaroslav Bures, both CSSD, were replaced by Petr Zgarba and Pavel Zarecky respectively.

Mr Paroubek was succeeded as regional development minister by Radko Martinek.

Information Technology Minister Vladimir Mlynar was replaced by his former deputy, Dana Berova.


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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