President Václav Klaus has always been a politician with distinct yet — until recently — not extreme opinions. Yet in a remarkable essay for Právo titled “A small Czech Hilsneriad, or another case of the dictatorship of political correctness,” he defends right-wing extremist politician Ladislav Bátora, who was set to become — allegedly upon Prague Castle’s recommendation — first deputy of Education Minister Josef Dobeš (Public Affairs, VV).
A new scandal is erupting for Education Minister Josef Dobeš: His subordinates apparently illegally read ministry employees’ e-mails. Furthermore, it seems Dobeš and his spokesman both wrote school essays for adviser Jana Machálková, the student whose Kč 145,000 “starting” salary Dobeš first denied and is now at pains to justify. There are also reports that ultra-nationalist politician Ladislav Bátora is in line for a top ministry post.
The educational and professional qualifications of the new director of the executive office of Education Minister Josef Dobeš have been called into question — as has her salary. Czech Position has learned that Jana Machálková (30), who has yet to earn her BA degree, earned Kč 145,000 in December — more than Dobeš himself is legally entitled to and nearly as much as Prime Minister Petr Nečas.
Education Ministry spokesman Václav Koukolíček received a gross wage of Kč 129,321 for December including bonuses, according to documents made available to Czech Position — and he was not the only one at the ministry to receive such an unusually high salary. Education Minister Josef Dobeš says that while he had no influence on the size of individual bonuses, in his opinion the staff deserved them.