Michal Prskavec was named head of the embattled Prague Transport Company’s (DPP) legal department in January by the acting director who replaced Martin Dvořák following allegations of widespread corruption. Only months later, both were no longer in those roles. Why was Prskavec appointed without a probationary period? Was his Kč 330,000 golden parachute deserved?
While Prague 5 was compelled to cancel a “disadvantageous” contract with the electricity distribution company Pražská energetika (PRE) signed by the former district mayor who went on to become the company’s deputy board chairman, Milan Jančík has been rewarded handsomely for his time in the post. TOP 09 deputy mayor says its time for the German model.
A former advisor of Public Affairs (VV) chairman Radek John and collaborator with de facto party leader Vít Bárta, the former political commentator and pundit Jan Kubáček, appears to be in the race to head President Václav Klaus’ new institute. The behind-the-scenes backer and sponsor of the new institute is set to be the richest Czech and main shareholder in the Dutch-based PPF group, Petr Kellner.
Former Civic Democrat MP Michal Doktor warns the draft church restitution deal may not win sufficient support when it comes before the lower house for its second reading in June. The vote may represent a real test for the center-right Czech government in rallying its troops behind a widely unpopular proposal. Doktor suggests the financial settlement could be softened for the state in order to keep the settlement on track.
Jiří Paroubek’s new party LEV 21 is an ambitious project that seeks to become a political pike in the pond of Czech left-wing politics and an alternative to the Social Democrats (ČSSD) and Communists (KSČM). But during its short existence, LEV 21’s boss has shot wide of the post and scored own goals, with allegations of murky financing and ties to Prague lobbyists sullying the upstart party’s name at a time when the voting public is ready for change.
The former leader of the Greens (SZ) who presided over the Czech party’s historic first entry into the lower house of parliament after the 2006 general elections and was later named environment minister told the magazine Týden this week he plans to contest for the post this autumn — and would like to have the current party leader on his team.
Some established parties, such as the Greens (SZ) and Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL), are seeking to make a comeback; others are looking for a breakthrough. The minnows on the Czech political scene have a chance to profit from the widespread discontent with the established parties and current state of politics. They will be hoping voters will not cast them into the same bag as the last new party phenomenon, Public Affairs (VV).
As long as Czech churches are dependent upon the state, they will remain quite on issues contrary to their teachings, says the former Christian Democrat (KDU-ČSL) chairman Cyril Svoboda, who furthermore argues that the draft church restitution law is flawed in many respects. According to Svoboda, the clergy would be better able to fulfil their spiritual roles if the Czech Republic looked to the French model for inspiration.
Stanislav Bernard once used his national image as the head of a brewery with popular beer to back the right-of center Civic Democrats (ODS). But Bernard says the party has lost track of its basic messages about individual enterprise and the state being slimmed to the minimum. In an interview with Czech Position, Bernard says top members of the ODS are now too involved in the corruption that thrives in a free-spending and poorly controlled state.
Entrepreneur Karel Janeček, mathematician, and founder of algorithmic trader RSJ, is known in the Czech Republic as the bane of corruption who doesn’t mince his words. He took up the mantle a year ago, when he founded the Anticorruption Endowment Fund (NFPK), which has launched several major causes in the past months. In a freeflowing interview, he talks about the Prague “godfathers”, the Holešov Appeal and Czech political culture.