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Czech gov't wants cap on public debt

PRAGUE -- The Czech government has proposed a constitutional amendment that aims to put a limit to public debt.

Prime Minister Petr Necas says the amendment would cap debt at 60 percent of GDP. It is currently at 41 percent of GDP.

Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek says that if the debt reaches 45 percent of GDP, government ministers as well lawmakers would have salaries cut by 20 percent and salaries of all state employees would be frozen. If the debt reaches 50 percent, the government would have to ask for a parliamentary confidence vote.

The center-right government needs help from the left-wing opposition to have the measure approved by Parliament.

Necas said Wednesday the 60 percent limit, which has been adopted by many EU countries, should become effective in 2014.