Premier Spidla treedt af na nederlaag Europese verkiezingen (en)

Czech Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla announced his resignation as head of both the government and the Social democrat party (CSSD).

Although he had been facing a barrage of criticism before the June poll, Mr Spidla finally took the decision to step down following a poor performance by the Social democrats in the European election.

The Social Democrats lost out mainly to the two opposition parties - the Civic democrats and the communists - and only reached fifth in the final count.

President Vaclav Klaus will now begin discussions with the major parliamentary parties about the consequences of Mr Spidla's resignation.

The communists have already made clear that they would support a minority parliament led by the Social democrats with their new leader, former CSSD deputy Stanislav Gross.

Meanwhile, the Civic democrats are calling for an early election.

New Czech Commissioner?

The major change in government could eventually lead to a replacement of the Czech commissioner.

The Civic Democrats have condemned Pavel Telicka, the current Czech Commissioner who is "twinned" with the health and consumer protection Commissioner David Byrne, and warned that if they got a chance they would suggest a different candidate for the new Commission starting in November.

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