Europe

Czech PM not ready to resign, fires finance minister

Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka says he has changed his mind about resigning with his government and instead wants to solve a political crisis by firing his finance minister.

Sobotka triggered the crisis on Tuesday by announcing he would resign over the business dealings of the finance minister. He said the minister, billionaire businessman Andrej Babis, had not properly explained suspicions that he avoided paying taxes.

Babis denied any wrongdoing. He is a rival of Sobotka's leftist Social Democrats and heads a centrist movement that is a favorite to win October's parliamentary elections.

Sobotka said Friday he decided to change his mind after President Milos Zeman — an ally of Babis — tried to accept the resignation only of Sobotka, and not the whole government.