Czech lower house rejects government's debt brake constitutional change

October 19, 2016 4:49 AM EDT

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PRAGUE (Reuters) - The Czech lower house of parliament on Wednesday rejected the center-left government's proposal for a constitutional amendment setting limits on state debt levels to keep future borrowing under control.

The government had proposed that future administrations would be forced to enact budget cuts when the national debt passes 55 percent of gross domestic product. The country's current debt load is around 40 percent of GDP.

The proposal could still become law without changing the constitution, which requires three-fifths of members of the lower and upper houses of parliament to approve. The lower house is expected to vote again on the plans as part of a regular bill later on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Robert Muller; Editing by Jason Hovet)

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