Czech Position launched in December 2010 with the lofty goal of becoming the world’s daily English-language source for Czech political, business and cultural news, by offering a mix of breaking news reports, feature articles, analysis and investigative reporting. Alas, all good things must come to an end.
Czech Position has obtained a detailed price offer from November 2005 addressed to the Ministry of Defense’s armament section that supports allegations that the Czech Army got a raw deal on the purchase of four CASA C-295 transport planes. The document is part of the file upon which the police are charging ex-defense minister Vlasta Parkanová for allegedly violating her fiduciary duties in signing off on a 2009 deal.
Prague councilors have approved the sale of nearly 3,855 city-owned dwellings — just a few hundred shy of the entire number of apartments sold last year in the Czech capital — for which the city hopes to fetch at least Kč 4 billion. There is talk, however, that speculators will manage to circumvent controls seeking to grant favorable terms only to current tenants.
Stripped of her immunity, Vlasta Parkanová (TOP 09) can now be prosecuted over a contract to buy CASA transport planes for the Czech Army — which were allegedly unneeded and deliberately overpriced by at least Kč 658 million. Former police investigator Zdeněk Ondráček explains how her prosecution could ultimately lead to higher levels of responsibility for the nation’s politicians.
Vlasta Parkanová (TOP 09) resigned on Wednesday as deputy speaker of the House after MPs voted 117 to 45 (with 14 abstentions) to lift her parliamentary immunity so that she can be prosecuted over a contract to buy CASA transport planes for the Czech Army, which were allegedly unneeded and deliberately overpriced by at least Kč 658 million.
The Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ) has said that to comply with the government’s request to check the books of the Administration of State Material Reserves (SSHR) would be futile, even if it had the full capacity to do so. PM Petr Nečas’ cabinet wants state auditors to investigate the controversial extra-budgetary “special accounts” — but the NKÚ has already made clear the SSHR buys high and sells low with impunity, and MPs have de facto legitimized the practice.
A three-week-old baby girl who was kidnapped by an unidentified man in the Ústí nad Labem region last week has been found alive and well in Germany, the Czech police have said, declining to reveal further details until the state prosecutor’s office and officials in Dresden hold press conferences on Tuesday afternoon.
Prime Minister Petr Nečas (Civic Democrats, ODS) has said the Czech state has no money to buy a pig farm built over the site of a Czech-run camp where hundreds of Roma — mainly children — died from disease, hunger or abuse during the German occupation.
With the elections to the Czech upper house of Parliament only some five months away, political parties are trying to lure voters in with new faces. To its list of new heavyweights Senate hopefuls like the prominent sociologist Ivan Gabal and former Constitutional Court judge Eliška Wagnerová, the Green Party (SZ) has added a figure with star power: writer, journalist and former dissident Jáchym Topol.
Czech Minister for Regional Development Kamil Jankovský (LIDEM) has identified six operational programs that are “at risk” of having EU funding cut off — Transport, Environment, Research and Development, Enterprises and Innovation, Integration, and the North-West Regional Operational Program (ROP).