Czech President accepts nomination for new finance minister

PRAGUE (AP) - Czech President Milos Zeman says he is ready to accept a proposal for a new finance minister, a step that will end the country's political crisis.

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has asked Zeman to appoint Ivan Pilny, the former head of Microsoft's operations in the Czech Republic.

That followed Sobotka's request for Zeman to fire the current finance minister, Andrej Babis, one of the richest men in the country, over unexplained business dealings.

Babis denied wrongdoing and initially said he wouldn't resign. Zeman refused to fire him, saying he considered Babis a successful minister.

But in an effort to solve the crisis, Babis himself proposed Pilny, from his centrist ANO movement, as a replacement. Sobotka agreed and the presidential office said Friday that Zeman is expected to appoint Pilny next week.

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